Marriage

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity (in-laws and other family through marriage). The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 month ago

By making us in pairs, the Qur'an is saying that we are pair-able, not that we are specifically created for one other person. 

Some people marry many times, some marry none, the Prophet had quite a few wives, so it isn't appropriate to say there is a single pair that is written.

Predestination and free will is a blurry area. Perhaps sometimes marriage is predestined and sometimes it isn't.

In any case, it is wrong to say that it is wholly written because there is at least the appearance of free will when we choose to marry someone or not to marry someone.

Sometimes the argument that marriage is predestined is used to justify other wrongs such as cultural taboos on marriage or wrong reasons for rejecting someone.

Also, our understanding of destiny is that there are two types of destiny, things that are absolutely fixed and things that are changeable. So even if we are destined to marry someone, we don't know for sure whether this is fixed or changeable. Allah, as the all-powerful, has the option to change destiny in any way. Prayer is said to change destiny. 

Plus it is always good manners to pray to Allah and acknowledge Allah as the source of all things.

So it is always good to pray! 

 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 month ago

Ethically, intentions behind a marriage can be a grey area. Shari'ah itself does not specify what emotions one has to have to conduct a shari'ah marriage contract.

However, what you are saying is often a bad idea.

First, it might have repercussions on your own life. If you don't wish to be with this person, you will be putting your life on hold for their sake. You might end up developing feelings for this person but they do not develop reciprocal feelings, and this causes hurt. This is quite common, especially if you are sacrificing for them (and hence investing your life in them) and if there is a shari'ah bond.

It is not uncommon for the man in this situation to have another wife or woman in another country or on the side who is waiting for him to get the residency, and who he plans to dump the visa-wife for after he gets the residency. This, in the end, can cause the woman to feel betrayed or hurt, even if it is already known.

If it ends up being a sham marriage (that is, you don't actually cohabit), that can cause legal problems or imprisonment in some places, and there is the shari'ah sin of lying on paperwork, etc.

If it isn't a sham marriage, what if you end up with children, financial entanglements, or other things?

Ask yourself, would this person do the same for you? That is, would they put their life, and any other relationships, on hold for you so that you could get residency somewhere? If the answer is no, definitely rethink it.

Often, these situations are associated with secondary sins, such as lying, fraud, or deception, and those are a shari'ah problem and a sin. (Further sins might be - assuming that you do a shari'ah marriage - looking for another partner while you are married, neglecting your spouse, and that sort of thing, since a shari'ah marriage does bring on some ethical responsibility.)

If you have an interest in getting married and settling down, and especially if you are in a younger age bracket, it is better to focus on finding a spouse that you want to be with, since the Islamic ideal is that one gets married and is settled; this should be the priority. If this person really cares about you, they will agree that your future and well-being is more important than theirs.

It is good that you want to help this person and it would be better to find other ways to try to help them, such as pointing them to a good lawyer, or even helping them find someone to marry in a real marriage for their residency.

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala

The term "forced marriage" has no meaning in Islam. It is self-contradictory. If a woman is "forced" to go into a marriage with a man, there is no Islamic shar'i marriage, and the Nikah contract is invalid. 

This is what I mean by having no meaning, because it is not a marriage in the eyes of Islam. 

We all have an individual responsibility to educate ourselves and bring awareness to others about this.

With prayers for your success.  

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala

My dear brother, why do you have to think of this as a bad or negative thing. Yes, it is frustrating, but don't they say there are plenty more fish in the sea. 

You cannot force yourself onto someone. People have different circumstances, and various conditions and requirements. They could have expectations as wel. 

It's just that you might not be meeting these requirements or expectation. That's normal. Don't take that in the way and don't feel offended. You have God, and I am sure you have family and those around you who love and respect you. 

This happens to most of us. We do not need to look at it as "rejection". If you are following the correct method of our Islamic culture and how we go forward with marriage proposals, then you should have no worry at all. Just leave it for your parents, or elders to deal with. 

However, if you are taking it all upon yourself to directly contact these women, then you must expect negative answers as well, especially if she is a religious woman who will never over-ride the authority of her parents. 

You just need to adopt the correct Islamic method. 

Do not give up. Marriage is very important, but more important is sustaining that marriage and being succesful in your married life. So, do not rush, do not compromise. And beseech Allah ta'ala. Do dua to Almighty God to open the path for you, and grant you a noble, righteous and committed wife.

Do tawassul to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and be patient. 

With prayers for your success. 

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Fiqh-wise, it is allowed to marry a Sunni man.

However, perhaps there is some truth to the saying: Women marry men hoping they will change, and men marry women hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed.

Also, sometimes love is about how we imagine a person might be ideally, instead of who they actually are. So it might be your ideal that he will accept this path if only he knows about it, but what he will actually do or care about on a day to day level may be different from your ideal, because at the end of the day, people are real people and not our ideals of them or how we think they should be. This is in addition to the pull of family ties (blood kin).

Of course some people do engage in religious conversion or conversion of school of thought after meeting a significant other, and it's always good to share what one believes to be the truth. 

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It can be very difficult to judge whether something happens due to divine punishment, versus due to natural cause and effect. It is often better to look at the situation in front of you and see what you can do about it.

There are often surprises after marriage, and being picky does not guarantee that one will be happy. People (especially younger people) also often don't know what they want until they find out, through experience, what they don't want. 

Anyway, I agree that it would be good to identify why you are not happy, and see if there is anything you can do about it. 

All you can do is your best, keeping in mind that a marriage has two sides, and if the other person is unable or unwilling to try to improve things, you can't fix it alone.  

With du'as!

Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala

What you did previously in rejecting marriage proposals of suitors, even though they met all the requirements that a woman should need for marriage was wrong.

Making wrong decisions also tends to affect all of us when we grow up and become more mature. We regret our immaturity and realise how negatively influenced we were by our false ideas or unrealistic expectations. Islam points this out in many hadiths, stressing on what the criteria needs to be for spouse selection, and if one neglects these recommendations, they will face many problems. 

It's very sad how we have distanced ourselves away from the teachings of Islam. 

Allah ta'ala also reminds us every once in a while how we need to mould our lives around our religion, and not turn our backs against Him. If we turn away we become miserable. We start to become negative, and even though we are surrounded with blessings, we do not see any of them. 

That being said, you should not blame your current situation on the past. You have free-will, and you choose your direction in life. You create your own mental state, and with your reliance on God and adherence to religion, you are able to have the best level of mental tranquility.

Do not think about punishment, or this unhappiness you are experiencing being because your past decisions creeping up on you, or karma, etc... This kind of thinking is not going to remove your unhappiness. 

Try to focus on why you are not happy with your husband. Is it solvable. Are there things that you or him or both of you can do to keep the marriage. What are you able to do to make your relationship survive?

Maybe both of you should visit a marriage counsellor who can teach both of you skills to improve your marriage. Maybe you should see a therapist who can give you tips on how to become happy in your life and in marriage. 

In any case, although you might have made wrong decisions in the past, it should not define who you are now, and you should not think of what you go through only as punishment from Allah ta'ala. Take control of your life and do the right thing.

Turn your previous mistakes into something positive and beneficial for others. Try to guide those around you and share your experience by informing others about marriage and spouse selection. All this will not just be forms of mental atonement, but also give you comfort that you are contributing to something good that other people can benefit from. 

With prayers for your success. 

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala

If all other shar'i requirements are met, yes, she can marry that man.

The marriage proposal must take its normal procedure, primarily around the parents giving their consent and their blessings. This is the most important part. 

A second important step is to see the character traits of the person, their moral standards, their family, compatibility, etc.

A third step to take is seeking consultation and advice, trying to find out if this prospect marriage is a good idea, and the obstacles they might face. This is necessary for any case of marriage, Muslim born, or convert. 

Both of them should study this from all its angles, for the sake of making the right decision and having a successful marriage. 

With prayers for your success.  

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 2 months ago

Sorry to hear about your situation.

I just wanted to add that even in this day and age when we think we control everything with technology, life and death are still in the hands of Allah. I have known several men and women who thought they were infertile (or even had surgery to prevent children) who later had children. Similarly, some people who are fertile never have children.

So unless there is an obvious genetic or anatomical reason why it is wholly impossible for you to father children, sometimes the possibility exists.

Of course you know your situation best, and perhaps it is not relevant to your specific situation. I just thought I would put it out there in general - there are no guarantees - although sometimes we can get a good idea of the probability of something happening, and it makes sense for someone who has a strong interest in having children to maximize the probability of it happening.

 

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 2 months ago

 Bismihi ta'ala

At first, we must understand the practice of istikharah, when/how/where and why it is done. If we do not correctly understand the purpose and usage of istikharah, we will face problems. 

Marriage itself and pursuing a case for marriage is not something that should be dependent on istikharah. If you take the correct avenues, with having family and elders involved, and investigating and asking about the life and behaviour of the prospect spouse, then you are going to reach a conclusion. 

If you have prioritised the correct requirements for a spouse, in being religious, and in having high akhlaq standards, then the investigation and consulting with others will give you your answer. There would be no need to resort to istikharah

Istikharah would only be applicable if after everything you are still two-minded, and you need to seek divine intervention. 

In any case, it is not haram to go against an istikharah. Of course, it's certainly better to not disregard the answer given to you by istikharah, or why else did you turn to do it in the first place. 

If you did an istikharah, and it turned out against what you deeply wanted, and you wish to pursue it, then pay some sadaqah, allow some time to pass, change the circumstances, and then decide whether you wish to pursue it, or do another istikharah.

Always bear in mind that just because istikharah came out good, does not mean your marriage will last. You still need to be all your effort in keeping a marriage, and maybe it is God's fate for you to go through whatever is destined for you. That's why the best thing is always to make sure your spouse selection is based on the solid criteria recommended by Islam. 

With prayers for your success. 

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 2 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. If there is an aspect in which your intention for the istekhara has changed you can take another istekhara with that modified intention.

May you always be successful 

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 2 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Not having a fully worked out life plan worked out is not the same as lacking confidence in God that you will succeed. If your future spouse is happy with your stage in working things out then there is no problem in getting married.

May you always be successful