Monday, 7 December 2009

Love Or Arranged Marriage?

Most westerners probably find it weird that grown up Asians (whether Muslims or non-Muslims) still need parental approval when it comes to marriage. And I can understand why they find it funny. But parents are our guide and it's always wise to seek their opinion in such an important matter and have them be a part of the entire process and not just as guests at the wedding.

When it comes to love or arranged marriages, usually both require parent's approval. In the case of Muslims, love and arranged marriages aren't really all that different. Either you find the person you like and then introduce them and their family to yours or your parents find you someone, you meet them and their family and see how you get along. Both have their benefits but which would you prefer and why?

Somehow, I prefer the idea of arranged marriage because it's less of a hassle to find someone yourself. Your parents do all the work and then you just have to accept or reject. :P In the case of love marriages, you do all the work of finding someone, perhaps falling in love with them and then risk losing them if your parents reject them or their family rejects you. The best way to avoid that is to have a good idea of who your parents consider a good match (usually parents see different things than their children). Although, it's even better if you can avoid the "love" bit until after everything is fixed. It'll also save you from shaitaan's trap of falling into something haram.

Also, if you like someone, get the parents involved before you end up liking them too much. If your parents are against it for whatever reason, you can end the matter then and there. :)


NidalM said...

Well, the biggest fear I have of letting parents just decide is people who just take advantage of the system.

If your potential spouse is one of those that thinks: "Whoever my parents tell me to marry, I'll marry". That's not fair to you.

And there's other people that are told who to marry without them really being given a choice, even if your own parents have given you one. Then its not fair to them.

You can't shield yourself from heartache. It (and the subsequent making up :P) are the building blocks of relationships, even after marriage.

Perhaps not love, but at least an understanding should exist between couples before making the leap.

Funny story: My grandmother actually said the wrong name at her Nikah. Why? Because she thought she was getting married to my grandfather's elder brother. Turns out, my great grandfather decided to change the baraat (groom+entourage) a few days before and apparently the parents forgot to inform the bride ;P Grandmother didn't know either of potential grooms, so she was fine with it. Ah the olden times and village life :)

Great and jolly woman my grandmother was... Allah yr7amha :)

Jaz said...

Good post! I think different things work for different people but I personally fell in love then married. Of course it's hard sometimes because we are very different people and sometimes want other things from life but love keeps us together. With an arranged marriage, someone who has the same interests or fits in with your life plan is usually chosen so that problem would be less likely.

single4now said...

Wow. MashaAllah your grandmother was indeed very jolly! :) I guess one could say it was simpler back then. Funny thing, in the case of my grandmom - she actually had a love marriage. I think that's pretty unusual for that time. MashaAllah.

Regarding heartbreak, I think what bothers me is so many couples like each other in college/uni for years and when they finally decide to go to their parents and their parents reject them, they end up being miserable and turn against their parents or just hate the idea of marriage to anyone. That's the kind of love I'd rather avoid. If you can't get married because you know your parents will never agree (either because they think you are too young or because they have someone in mind or even because they have their own idea of who they'd like as a son or daughter-in-law), you shouldn't get into the whole game of love and heartbreak.

Also, with arranged marriage, I didn't mean blindly get married to anyone. But if you can talk to them and like them, then there's no harm. My parents have actually left it to me and I have a good idea of what they are looking for and who they'd reject so I don't bother pursuing conversations with people and leading them on in that sense.

I think parents should give their children a choice because it becomes really hard on the children. After all, it's them who'll be living with the person and they should be comfortable with their spouse and feel compatible. I know of quite a few cases where parents have pressurized their children into marriage. Sometimes, things work out for the best. Other times, the marriage ends in divorce. And yet other times, people just go on being married because divorce isn't an option for them.

I just think, whether it's love or arranged marriage, it should be done soon rather than wait a lot of yrs without having parents involved and the risk of falling into something people would later regret. :)

Not to mention, when most people are in love, they can't think straight. ;)

single4now said...

^ Oh that was directed at NidalM. :D

MashaAllah Jaz! It's nice to hear about a love marriage. I'm not against love marriages in any way. I just see too many people going about it the wrong way and then ending in heartbreak and regrets.

Ma Vie & Etc said...

Personally I find that both have there ups and downs.

Arranged marriages are good because they are based on compatability and what attributes will help create a successful marriage. However, when you get to meet the person you might not like them physically or what have you (you might have differen't visual taste then your parents do). Sometimes its not even about how they look, you just might not like that person and it ends up being a waste of their time and yours.

Love marriage are beautiful too because you go out and have your own (decent and reachable) expectations and can find someone who appeals to you in all aspects. Again there is another problem with that because you may end up getting involved with this person way beyond the halal extent (if you get what I mean). And sometimes love can could your judgement.

I really don't know...both of them have a lot of positive points aswell as negative. But what is most important is that we put our trust in Allah and all will be well...whether it's having an arranged marriage or a love one.

:) <3

single4now said...

^ Good points. And definitely, it's important to have faith in Allah (swt). Whether love or arranged, it's always a good idea to pray istikhara and ask Allah (swt) for guidance. I believe I've prayed istikhara thrice and I feel I've always been guided to the right decision. Alhumdulillah. :)

y said...

I agree with the points Nidal made in his post.

Personally, I'm not for the arranged marriage thing at all. It seems crazy to me to have never met the person before you get married. That's just me, anyway. I dont really see any reason to have an arranged marriage. Like, there is no Islamic requirement for the marriage to be arranged by the parents and you barely get any choice in the matter. There are just some basic rules to observe when you try to find someone to get married to (no flirting, no touching, hugging, kissing, etc, no other inappropriate behavior). Plus, I think I would want to be able to judge the character of the person and how they carry themselves myself, rather than trusting other people to do it for me. I would of course ask for other people's opinions, but I would be more comfortable if I could decide for myself as well.

But anyway, whichever way we decide to get married, love or arranged marriage, I think we all agree the most important thing to consider is the character and morality of the person, since that is the most valuable thing.

Anyway, just my opinion.


Husain said...

Istikhara. Hmm.. I am reminded of an urdu couplet my Grandfather once recited:

Safr Mein aik din khud ko bhi chod do aye Momin
Kya kare, har kaifiat mein Istikhara saat rehta hai

I am afraid its very difficult to attempt a rough translation of poetry of this standard but I simply thought it fit the context well.

With regards to the post itself, it seems that there is a dearth of muslim adventurism in love marriages in general. Surely it can't just be fear of rejection, heartache and lack of time. Are we so incompatible with idea of "Its better to have loved and lost..." you know the rest.

single4now said...

^ Nice sher. Even though I'm not entirely sure what kaifiat means but I got the overall jest of it. :D

The rest of your comment made me laugh. Actually, heartache is a part of it. The other part is not thinking clearly when people fall in love especially when you forget about religion and keeping that as your first priority. I think it's better to have clarity when choosing a life partner and with love out of the equation, it's much easier. But after marriage if love blinds you to the imperfections of your husband/wife, what could be better? :)

y - I'm not sure why you feel arranged marriages are more restrictive? They are more simpler I think. But one should still be allowed to accept or reject a person. If your parents understand you and know what you are looking for, they can only be an asset in your search for the right person.

It's ironic that my parents decided I should do my own spouse hunting. Alhumdulillah either way. :)

H said...

Your comment about doing istikharah thrice and arriving at the conclusion to say no (I assume) made me laugh out loud :) I've only heard about brothers performing istikharah, and the result is invariably "Hey I did istikharah and the results were good!"

Maybe brothers are just too simple-minded :)

single4now said...

lol, honestly, it wasn't that simple. I didn't get the answers immediately. Although with the first one, when I woke up I felt stressed and later I found out about things that were not good so that ended. With the second, I saw a dream which I assumed was good (someone said if you see white or green it means it's good - Allahu alim) but the more I got to know the person, the more uncomfortable I felt so that ended. Infact, later when I went back and thought about my dream, it seemed more like the dream was telling me this is bad so I'm not great at interpreting dreams. :P With the 3rd, again I didn't see any dream, I just felt like something's not right about this person and they are hiding something even though otherwise they seem good.

Although, I have to say, there are many times I didn't reach the point where I should pray istikhara because we were not at a common understanding even though the brothers themselves seemed really good.

Basically, after you pray istikhara, you do what you feel is right - either you proceed with the matter or leave it. If it's good, it'll work out somehow. If it's bad, you'll be moved away from it, just as the dua says. :)

Salma said...

Hubby and I were semi-arranged. Love came after marriage, and I didn't feel that anything was missing. I felt that we were working to a place where we were mutually satisfied.

I want to arrange my daughters, but I am open (hubby doesn't want to arrange them, but to have them trust us to ask our opinion and guidance). We'll see.

About istikhara...hubby was freaked out when he did this because he saw me dying and he said he was very sad. His ultimate goal was to make me happy and take care of me...

I don't know what it meant, but after I almost died 6 months ago in the worse way, and we got closer through it...I don't know.

y said...

single4now, i have a question. you said that you found out things that were not good about the person. I have no idea how to go about finding out whether the person does good things or bad things except for asking them directly. How do you go about finding out things about a person, like, should you ask their friends, or call the imam of the mosque they go to?

single4now said...

^ Perhaps it was unrelated? Sometimes dreams don't mean anything, they are just something our mind makes up. Did the dream happen before or after the near-death experience? If it was after, then perhaps it was something at the back of his mind and it came up in his dream. Alhumdulillah, things turned out well for you. :D Thanks for sharing. :) Just keep making dua that Allah (swt) protects your marriage and keeps the love in your hearts forever. :)

Husain said...

Hey we get negative dreams too fellow 'H'. yikes. That sounded bad. I mean Istikhara can turn out negative for guys as well. I've had to refuse a perfectly good job offer once in Manchester for it. Turns out that the Aussie Trading firm that I applied to collapsed in 3 months! ajeeb. Lord have mercy.

I am liking the use of discreet alphabets to garb ourselves in modesty. Now that H's already been taken I suppose I'll resort to 'Z'. :P

Ok silly comment aside. There are times when what appears to be negative and scary is in fact a red-herring for something good and vice versa. Ibn Sirrin's classic is considered to be a must - read before you interpret your dreams at a deeper level. I am glad it turned out okay in the end.

single4now said...

Wow, you people are commenting faster than I can reply. lol. Last message directed at Salma.

y - well, you can ask indirectly. First thing one should do is ask about prayers, keeping halal and other matters of religion. Generally I don't believe one should delve into the past too much. It's better to try and find out how the person is currently. Ask lots of questions and get to understand their thinking. Don't just listen to what they say but also how they say it. How they word it if it's through chat or email. I don't mean look at their grammer. I was once communicating with a guy whose mom initiated the communication but I requested to speak with her son because I want to know if the guy wants to get married or not. With every email, I felt his responses were rude. I wasn't sure why that was the case. I ask him a question (called open questions which require more than yes or no and have no particular right or wrong answer) and he just dismissed it by saying we can discuss it. And wouldn't give any concrete response and at the same time was rude. I decided at that point that it's fruitless to pursue the matter with someone who cannot even be polite before marriage. I can't imagine how things will be afterwards. And he didn't seem to know how to handle disagreements either and would probably just require someone who agrees with everything he decides which doesn't always happen in marriage.

You can talk to her friends and see. As the prophet (saw) said, our company rubs off on us. If she keeps good company, she's probably a good person.

I feel that generally if someone is a genuine person and nice, you get good vibes about it when you speak to them (I don't mean butterflies in the stomach though :P). If you feel you are already keen on the person, ask a friend that is a good Muslim for advice and what their thoughts are. Ask questions where you get to know the person's personality and thinking. If it matches yours, then go ahead with it. Ask your parents for advice. Sometimes they can spot things you can't. :)

InshaAllah that helps. As for my case, I think Allah (swt) revealed things to me which I wouldn't have otherwise come to know so have faith in istikhara. :)

single4now said...

MashaAllah never expected these many comments on a topic I wrote half asleep. :P

Husain - I've heard about the book a lot and wanted to get it but I was just wondering how the author came to those conclusions? I mean where did he get his information from? Someone said, he probably took it from various hadith. But since I was uncertain, I decided, I'll just let things follow their natural course. :)

Husain said...

To choose the topic of love marriage - its safe to expect an absolute avalanche of opinions, queries, anxieties, memories and confusion.

Coming back to the current discussion - I feel compelled to mention a word or two about the 'author' in question. Well firstly Muhammad Ibn Sirrin was from the Ta'bai (successor) generation of Muslims who heard and reported directly from luminous Sah'aba such as Anas, Abu Hurayra and Ibn Umar (May God have shower his infinite mercy on all of them).

It was the great Shafii Hadith Master Ibn Hibban who said :

“Muhammad ibn Sirin was the most pious God-Aware men of the people of Basrah! He was a virtuous faqih (jurisconsult), a Hāfidh (i.e. memorized over 100,000 narrations), one who Feared Allah ta’alā, an interpreter of dreams!”

Suffice to say if he said something you can be assured it was based on the Hadith is some shape or form. With regards to his magnum opus the book of interpretations itself, I've had the good privilege of reading a rare copy of the urdu sharh (commentary) of the work some years back.

Of the many things that struck me about his process and method was the meticulousness and care he took in interpreting dreams. It was said that he would hear dreams of many people but would give his interpretation to only a few after much care and thought. That in itself would only come to pass when he was well aware of the seekers character, disposition and mental state.

Also, dreams of similar nature can have 2 diametrically opposite meanings. To illustrate an example, he mentions that if someone from the succeeding generation of Muslims would dream of "honey" it could signify the sweet taste of his Iman and beauty of religion. On the contrary a similar such dream of 'honey' for some people of later times and of much different nature, could be interpreted as a sign of haughtiness and excess wealth.

Ofcourse some dreams of Istikhara are more obvious in our understanding (or feeling atleast). We can't all be expected to be scholars to interpret them and I suppose to a degree God would allow us the dispensation to bless whichever choice we undertake eventually (after prayer and thought). Nevertheless to familiarise oneself with the science of dream interpretation should prove more useful and accurate. That's just my humble opinion though.


From Love to Marriage to Dreams to God. Some would say natural progression eh ?

H said...

@Husain: I should have been clearer. I meant brothers doing istikhara in the context of marriage to a particular sister. :)

single4now said...

Husain - wow, thanks for the detailed response. If I ever get the book, I'll have to start praying istikhara more often. Although, I dream a lot anyway. I can remember upto 4 or 5 dreams at night. lol. But those probably are just creations of my mind because they have nothing to do with my real life. I could have made a blog about the dreams I have if it were not for the fact that we shouldn't share our dreams with just anyone.

And I agree. Marriage/Love is an amazingly popular topic! I actually underestimated it. :D

H - I had tried to do some amount of research on interpreting istikhara. One of the things I had read was that when a brother already likes a sister, he'll wake up (after praying istikhara) feeling good because somewhere in his mind he already feels good about it so he'll feel as though the istikhara's result was positive. Or he'll have a dream which is from his mind rather than from Allah (swt) and will wake up feeling positive. So perhaps this is why most brothers think their istikhara's result is good.

single4now said...

And actually, this is why it's said that it's better to pray istikhara early on when you haven't decided either way or when you aren't leaning one way or the other. But if you have faith that Allah will guide you in the right direction then exactly that will happen so one should read the dua with full conviction. :)

Salma said...

Hubby did istikhara to see if I was the one...b4 marriage.

Thanks for kind words on my blog.

single4now said...

Salma - I'm sorry I was slightly confused earlier but things became clearer after going through your blog. And it was my pleasure. Anyone who writes from the heart will have a blog as beautiful as yours. MashaAllah. :)

MuslimahIbrahim said...

asalamo alaykom sister,
i need some advice and maybe u can help me. i didnt know what my parents wanted for me when i fell in love. i am being honest and any sisters here who can help me please please do so. i fell in love with a very good muslim man, he also loves me. he and his family are very close with mine so thats how we know each other, we have known each other for years, and so i know he is a very good muslim man, and he is good in our deen alhamdolilah. we get along very well and we share many of the same interests, and have the same sense of humor, sarcasm and honesty, which is why he is more comforting. he is also very respectful. well i probably cant describe him well enough so i will go on. so anyways i now know that that my dad will 95% not aprove of him for a private reason i will not put on here but its not a good reason to reject a man considering ur daughter wants him more than anything in the world, but anyways my parents dont know i love him, but i found out through his sister. anyways i dont think i can ever move on if he is rejected. nobody will understand how much i love this man. i think i will probably get depressed if i cant have him.but anyways, i just need any advice u guys can give me. i am a bit depressed and i need your support. please help.

MuslimahIbrahim said...

please answer my last comment

single4now said...

Walaikum as salaam Sis,

I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. Is your father a practicing Muslim or religious? If he is, perhaps you can try to talk to him about this reason due to which he doesn't like this boy and cite hadith about choosing the religious person. If it's something minor, tell him that no one is perfect, everyone can make mistakes. If it's something major or something the guy has done to offend your father, ask the guy to apologize. Apologizing doesn't make anyone smaller and it can perhaps help the situation if your father forgives him and then you can try to talk to your father about marriage.

Unfortunately, if it's something like race, education, place of origin, etc, then you'll have to work a little harder. Try asking some of your relatives to help you who can influence your father. How does your mother feel about the guy and his family? If she likes them, then perhaps approach her and ask her to help talk to your father. Pray istikhara as well, if you haven't already, perhaps this is Allah's plan. Also, how do the guy's parents feel about you? Would they accept you as a daughter-in-law? Also ask the guy to try and work to win your dad. He can't sit and do nothing while you try to do everything. He has to work for it if he thinks you are worth it. :)

Parents can often be stubborn and set in their ways. It's not easy being corrected by your kids. So try to be polite. Catch your father in a good/relaxed mood. The other thing is, don't be sad. If, in case, this doesn't work, I'm sure you can find other guys. I know it can be heartbreaking but everyday someone's heart breaks, people don't get married, people get divorced, people lose their spouses or their child and live through it. So you are not alone. As Allah (swt) says int he Quran, each soul will be tested. Make sincere dua to Allah (swt) that if this guy is the best for you, to make it easy for you and to open your family's hearts and if he's bad for you and your deen then to make it easy for you to forget him and to replace him with someone that is better.

Good luck!

MuslimahIbrahim said...

no sister its not about race or anything like that as we were born in the same place, and are of the same religion and everything. he never did something to offend anyone in my family, and actually he talked to his family about me and they are all happy about it, just scared that my dad can reject him, my dad is religious alhamdo lilah, and is good in our deen as well. and my mom probably would love to have him as my husband because he is a really good person. he is also very trustworthy. he also has a good education, but my dad wouldnt want us to marry because..... well he is a relative, and he is against relatives marrying.
please make dua for me that ALLAH swt will do wats best for me.
and maybe if u can suggest a way i can speak to my dad about this.
i am looking forward to your response.

single4now said...

Any particular reason he is against it? Your mum can remind him that Islam allows marrying cousins. Actually, until you find out more about why your dad is against it, you can't do much to change his mind. Perhaps it's because he is concerned about the family or the genetic problems in your children or maybe he has someone else in mind. Since your mom likes the family, ask your mom to bring it up and talk to him. You can join her and sit and talk with him and bring about his and his family's good points. I think since you know the situation best, you can best try to figure out what your dad would listen to. If you feel, he would be more reasonable if you talk about the religion and find hadith that support your viewpoint, then talk to him that way. If you feel he listens more to your mom, then she should do the talking.

InshaAllah, I hope it works out for the best. :)

MuslimahIbrahim said...

alright sis, i know he is against relatives marrying because 2 reasons, 1 because he says that if cousins marry the children could have a problem, like i dont know, something like that i think its like u said about the genetics, and number 2 is because like in every marriage problems come between u and he says that if they are relatives then it could be a problem for the whole family, even though i've learned that when something happens in your house u dont go out and tell everyone u know. so that probably wont happen, but i dont know, my dad just thinks that way. sister if u can please help me find any hadiths that may help me. i am trying to tell u the situation the best i can, so basically their family is awsome, my mom, dad, me, and my siblings all love them, so thats not a problem, but my problem is that we r related, from my moms side, i am sure he doesnt have anyone in mind though, so anyways if there are any hadiths or verses in the quran or facts that can help me please please let me know. i will wait, and i will also search. oh and by the way this man i want to marry never made my father sad in any way and my dad does like him. so ya. i know that watever ALLAH swt planned for us will happen inshallah so i will trust allah. so please try to find anything. thank u sis, salam

Chiara said...

Great post and comments!

I think NidalM made excellent points as did others, and your advice to Muslimah Ibrahim is excellent, Single4now.

I do believe there are a range of positive options for how a marriage comes about as long as it is not forced or coerced, which is of course different than arranged.

As both a Westerner and very career oriented (ie I can support myself), I cannot imagine marrying in an arranged way, unless it was one of those get to know each other thoroughly first ways. I also think that sexual attraction is important, otherwise performing one's conjugal duties would be just that, a duty or a chore; which would be unfortunate since that is part of the purpose and pleasure of marriage (at least according to Islam--according to the Vatican, one should only be making babies).

There are many emotional ups and downs before and after marriage, and love is built and tested, so I am not sure having an arranged marriage protects one from the insanity of love (people in the throws of love have been proven to have the same emotional profile as a manic-depressive).

While it may not be appropriate for Muslimah Ibrahim, there are ways to marry without parental permission, even for Saudis. Another woman got this advice on how from me so she could marry a foreigner her father refused. It would be in some ways harder, but not impossible to marry a family member in that same way.

Single4now--delete or edit as necessary, if my comments seems too Xrated, or haram, or whatever. LOL :)

single4now said...

MuslimahIbrahim - To some extent, I agree with your father in both matters. The child could have a problem, especially if the family is known to carry a deadly disease. The easiest way to find out is to get tested. One of the diseases commonly screened for is Thalassemia, a blood disorder. But there are many others. Ask your cousin if he will be willing to undergo this kind of testing and if he agrees then bring it up with your dad. By the way, if he's your second cousin or a more distant relative, then the likelihood of a genetic disease decreases.
Regarding family issues, I think this is something to consider because you are thinking about minor issues but if some major disagreement occurs, surely you will share it with your family and he will with his which can lead to tension between both families. Of course, it doesn't mean it WILL happen but perhaps this is the reason your father doesn't want to take such a big risk.
Before you speak with your dad, pray istikhara, talk with your mom about these issues. Also, ask your cousin how you both will deal with issues that arise.

Chiara - lol, I can't edit your comments. Only decide to publish them or delete them. I wouldn't recommend that she get married without her father's consent. In Islam, a girl requires the consent of her father. However, she cannot be forced into a marriage and has the freedom to decline a marriage. Also, if she marries without her father's consent, it may result in breaking ties with her family which is not allowed in Islam. If for any reason, she needs her family's support in future, it'll not be there simply because she married without their permission. Marriage is not something one should leap into simply because you love someone. As you said, some people can act manic-depressive so it's not wise to take decisions in such an emotional state.
She should try her best to discuss things with her father and approach his queries with reason and logic in order to convince him.
All the emotional heartbreak is why I'd prefer not to have a "love" marriage. It's okay to get to know someone before you marry them but when you have too much of an emotional attachment before the marriage is fixed, it can lead to a lot of pain if things don't work out. I'd rather be slightly detached. Then again, I'm not saying that I don't want to be in love when I get married. Sure I do. I will not marry someone I cannot love and I wouldn't marry a man who cannot love me. It has to be a mutual liking and connection but everything should be within limits while we are getting to know each other. :)

MuslimahIbrahim said...

assalamo alaykom,
first of all thank u chiara 4 taking the time to help me.
second of all, sister i found a solution that was of course there all along, but i realized that as u know ALLAH swt has a plan for each and every one of us, and no matter wat we do, ALLAH's plan is what will happen, so i will try my hardest to tell myself that getting depressed wont help, and that i must trust ALLAH swt. and ALLAH knows best, maybe if i do marry my cousin there will be a problem with our children, and i might not be able to handle something like this, who knows, and maybe i will be able to handle it, so in conclusion, i will pray to ALLAH swt to do whats best for me, and so inshallah wat ever happens i will accept as ALLAH's plan.

thank u so much for the time u took to help me out and give me support
but sister i have one last thing to ask of u
please please make dua for me that ALLAH swt will help me get over it if it's not him i marry, and that ALLAH swt will give me a good, muslim man.

thank u again,

single4now said...

MuslimahIbrahim - mashaAllah, that's very mature of you. Yes, indeed, Allah (swt) is one whom we should put our faith in and He will be there to guide us. Every night that you feel stressed, just make dua to Allah (swt) to make it easy for you and to choose the path that is best for you and your deen. InshaAllah, I'll make dua for you. :)

Chiara said...

Single4now--LOL :) at least I didn't get poofed! I wouldn't recommend that anyone get married against their parents' serious objections. In the situation I described, the person asked specifically for how, having made a firm decision to marry, as her father's issue was ethnicity and nationality only. It is possible in other Muslim countries, and in mosques in other countries, to marry Islamically without the father's permission. Most of my advice was on how she could get a scholarship from another country to study there. Of course, it is always preferable when the family is onside.

I agree with what you said about the genetic testing, and certainly the more distant the kinship the less likely there are to be problems. However, there are genetic recessive disorders that have become of high frequency per tribe in Saudi, as you probably know better than I.

Muslimah Ibrahim--thank you for your kind words. I do wish you all the best in your efforts to persuade your father. You are right that becoming depressed, while a natural response, is a negative. You are lucky that in your culture most often there is a lot of support and socialization with family and friends. It is more difficult to simply withdraw without anyone noticing or intervening, as it can be in Western culture. Social withdrawal is of course tempting when one is sad or depressed, but very unhealthy. Also, if you do find yourself sinking into depression, along with prayers and social support, I hope you would consult a compassionate and competent doctor who could help you further. Contrary to what some want to believe, Arabs and Muslims do get clinically depressed, and this is not a negative reflection on them or their faith, but rather a function of the biology of depression, and most often a low serotonin level. Still, I wish to remain optimistic that you and your cousin will find a way to be blessed by Allah with the marriage you desire, and healthy babies (statistically most likely anyway). All the best.

single4now said...

lol, well, what you said WAS true even though I wouldn't be that blunt. So, I opted to publish your comment. :)

Chiara said...

LOL :) Blunt? uhh, and I was going for politely accurate! LOL :)

Tasneem said...

I do not agree with arranged marriages at all...I could never marry someone I do not know or love!In South Africa, we rarely have arranged marriages as our parents allow us to court even though its haraam. But at the end of the day I think we better off marrying men we are inlove with compared to men we do not know. Algamdullilah after two years of courting, I'll be getting married in 8 months time

single4now said...

^ MashaAllah congrats. I think you've misunderstood. I didn't mean marrying someone blindly. The only difference is, your parents introduce you and you talk to each other to find out if you are compatible. And everything is done in a halal fashion and the marriage will still be based on love - that's essential for a marriage to survive. Love and mercy which are the same things, I believe, that are mentioned in Surah Room. Courting may work but what if it doesn't? It leaves people heart broken and depressed. That's what I tend to dislike about the idea of love marriages. Of course at some point in the communication you do tend to become attached to a person. I just don't like the idea of love blinding you from the start. :P

era said...

I read your blog & thought "how cute? she has no idea what arrange marriage consist of & hence thinks grass is greener on the other side". sis I have tried arrange process which lead me to look for love marriage.

Arrange marraige gives You, your parents, the whole house hold a headace. My house is gloomy for past 3 years with parents losing weight at a terrible rate & have hit depression because they feel responsible for me & my bro not being married yet. Parents feel like they failed on their part.

seeing that does not make kids want to put their feet up and say "not my problem but parents", you worry more. love marriage is less headace. Initially 2 people are involved & it is simple to make decision in small group. Arrange your whole family is involved initially, try making decision with 10 different heads

single4now said...

That's true about the 10 different heads. But when you have parents or even 1 parent who has their own idea of who you should or shouldn't marry, it makes the idea of love marriage a bit impossible. In the end, they'll just reject the person or not entertain the family because they don't live up to their expectations. But sure, if your family can accept your decision and you feel they can give their input during the decision making without imposing their own beliefs (unless it's Islamic reasoning), then that's perfect. :)

Anonymous said...

Salam everyone,(marriage-istikhara-dreams)
I'd appreciate comm./advice so don't hesitate..Ok?
so riddle me this,
- I'm in 30's but even as child had dozen dreams turned out into reality..
- always was deeply spiritual but not religious (because my parents were not or community).
I was married to my best friend (same background).
8 yrs ago in dream a muslim man who owns a store here dressed in white, in his shop invited me & my mom to his son's wedding (I didn't know his son) but Tears & huge sadness woke me up. Weird, disturbing..I told husband about it, then forgot whole thing.
5 yrs later i was sick for 1 yr, ended up divorced..Now I'm religious, hijabi, and single. Then dream slowly started coming up to life. First my parents followed my example( became practicing muslims). Then Mom started shopping w/ me in that man's shop. Last yr. same man (over yrs. became friend through mosque )introduced me to his son at Eid (man was looking to get his son to marry me) But son admitted he already had a girl (christian) so recently man invited us to son's wedding..In a hotel man (father) greeted us dressed just like in a dream. I almost fainted. Before wedding I prayed should I go or not. Feeling came that I must go 'cause my destiny is to be there that night. When ceremony was almost over, other boy I know (he has a shop too and we kind of liked each other) came to greet me and mom. I'd no idea he's grooms best friend. He looked at me, smiled and 400 guests around us "dissepeared". I felt: this guy is my destiny. Always nice I was sure he had warm feelings..then week later in mosque he started avoiding me....then on Eid same thing. what should I do? Should I email him about what he doesn't know, but I don't want to tell dream to anyone who knows me. You all know story of Yusuf a.s., so what do you think? I can't stop thinking about him (he is younger, richer and dif. nationality, and Ićm much more mature than him, but what if we are meant to be? . SALAM

Jen said...

Salam mu Alaykum, May Allah be pleased with you and your works,

.. riddle me this:

- I'm in 30's but even as child had dozen dreams turned out into reality..
- always was deeply spiritual, sensitive and loving all living things, but not religious (because my parents were not or my community). I was married to my best friend (same background).
-8 yrs ago IN DREAM: a muslim man who owns a store here dressed in white, in his shop invited me & my mom to his son's wedding (I lived and shopped w/ my husband. Not with my mom, and didn't know man’s son ?) but tears & huge sadness woke me up. Weird, disturbing, I told husband about it (felt ashamed), but then forgot whole thing.
5 yrs later i was sick for 1 yr… ended up divorced..Today I'm religious, only eat halal (or kosher articles), never alone with any men (not even friends), hijabi, and single.
Then dream slowly started coming up to life. I really moved back to parents…parents followed my example( became practicing muslims El Hamdul ILLAH). ..Then Mom started shopping w/ me in that man's shop. ..Then 2 yrs ago same man (over yrs. became friend through mosque) introduced me to his son at Eid (perhaps man was looking to get his son to marry me). I thought maybe dream meant I’m suppose to marry that boy?.. or if dream was to continue coming true, I’ll end up only a guest at wedding? Then son admitted he already had a girl (christian) and recently man really invited us to son's wedding. .In a hotel ceremony man (father) greeted us dressed exactly like in a dream. I almost fainted. Before wedding I prayed should I go or not and why was whole dream happening for real now? . Feeling came that I must go 'cause my destiny is to be there that night. I set at wedding feeling so weird like that was a dream too then suddenly I felt: “tonight you had to be here but don’t be sad, it’s not about that guy, it’s about somebody else, just wait and see what happens“…When ceremony was almost over, other boy I know a little (he has a shop too and we kind of liked each other) ran to me to greet me and mom. I'd no idea he's grooms best friend. He looked at me, smiled and 400 guests around us "disappeared". I felt: oooh, this guy is my destiny. Always nice I was sure he had warm feelings..I felt happiness in heart as if I could smile forever, but then I felt blushing, apologized it was late and we left the party.

…week later in mosque he started avoiding me....then on Eid same thing. No more Salam. What should I do? Should I email him about what he doesn't know, but I don't want to tell dream to anyone who knows me. You all know of Yusuf a.s., so what do you think? Now, can't stop thinking about him (he is younger, richer , dif. nationality, and seems more immature then me, but what if we are meant to be? .

And other guy (the man’s son) who married christian girl (she officially converted) they are both arrogant people. At the mosque he or she doesn’t salam me although she did at her wedding…I think she doesn’t like me.. Is it possible she said something to that guy (groom’s friend) so he is avoiding me now?

Groom’s father is still nice to me, sweet and friendly man, but he is too simple to tell him about all this, and his son, his friend and all people they are friends with are all rich people with big money and expensive cars. I’m not, and I don’t care for money and fame, just don’t like to be looked down on or ignored. I want to treat them same way (just ignore them) but I keep thinking if I need to ‘fight’ for that young man? I felt in his eyes soft human being, but because he’s young and rich maybe just hiding behind mask and all his money, or is he a hypocrite who could hurt me and my deen?

What do you brothers and sisters think about both my reality and my dreams?


single4now said...

In all honesty, although your dream came true, perhaps it was just indicating that one day you will be closer to this man (shop keeper) because you'll share the same religion. Regarding his son's friend, I feel it's always best to judge them by their deen and character and not by how they were in one meeting on the wedding day. Pray istikhara and perhaps ask a sheikh who knows more about dreams but it doesn't look as though the man is interested in marriage or he'd be direct. Perhaps he was just being friendly that particular day but was not looking for anything more?

But mashaAllah at your conversion. May Allah (swt) help you become even closer to Him and His deen. Ameen.

Jen said...

Gazak Allah Khayr for 1st opinion and taking time to read and give a realistic view. I wonder if you yourself are br. or sr. so is it then that men are generally 'just friendly' but almost never serious?because it really seamed as we shared a real moment (unspoken yes, but it sparked between us). Offcourse, could be all imagination, but if he was just friendly then why avoiding me now? I didn't say or do anything openly either. So why is he runing?
I prayed istikhara 3 x on this, and result is now can't stop thinking about him. Crazy, huh?
Keep answering me, may Allah bless you all, cuase I can't share this with local friends..they all want me to reveal his identity first. Thnks all in advance..
Salam to all you dear people..

jen said...

Sorry just realized single4 is a sister, so I apologize dear sister. I'm still asking honest brothers to share if they ever felt strong about some girl and become scared of those feelings? Or did anyone avoid a girl they liked because parents didn't aprove of her?

single4now said...

Wa iyyaki. I don't think you should try to interpret too much from that meeting. Men aren't too great on non-verbal communication. They may smile at us because they are just trying to be friendly and we may think they like us even though that was not what they were trying to convey. If you haven't spoken then he may not be trying to ignore you. He just smiled at the time and then didn't think about any further contact when you came across each other on a later date. But that's just my impression of the matter.

Regarding emailing him, etc, I think you should first consider finding out about him. Is he a good Muslim, does he have a good character, how is he with others and any other details that are important to you. You might need to speak to a scholar who can interpret dreams to find out it's significance. Regarding the istikhara, now that you've prayed it, just pursue/leave the matter based on istishara (advice of knowledgeable people that you know of). Sometimes when we have already decided in our hearts of what we want or have already become attached to a decision, the istikhara results become unclear to us so just wait till Allah sends you a clear sign. In the mean time, keep trust in Him and keep making dua for Him to guide you to what is best for your deen and make it easy for you.

Not sure if my response helped you in any way. But I hope you find the answers you are looking for. :)