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Lesson 14
Social law : Marriage


5.      We must marry women who are not already married. We must seek their consent and that of their parents. Upon agreement to marry, a woman must be given a gift of her choice by the spouse. Of course the gift is negotiable. A woman cannot be married against her will – neither can she marry against her parents will. If there is an impasse and the parents and the child cannot agree on the marriage decision, the child must give in to the parents’ choice. This is why:


                                                        i.            Marrying someone one is opposed to is a great sacrifice. It should be done only to please Allah (S.W.A). Whatever the reason may have been for the rejection, one must remember that Allah (S.W.A) is the owner of beauty, happiness, wealth, honor, power, love and anything else one may desire. If one sacrifices his/her choice of spouse in favor of the parents’, Allah (S.W.A) will see to it that he/she is  compensated for the loss. Remember, the greater the sacrifice one makes to please Allah, the greater the reward. Even if the situation is very difficult, still, it is better one puts his/her trust in Allah (S.W.A) and obey the parents. Allah promises us that:

“So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief. (94:5)”

“Verily, with every difficulty there is relief. (94:6)”


                                                      ii.            If our parents are mentally stable, they hold our best interests at heart. To run away from ones parents to strangers is to run from a pot whose water is just beginning to make bubbles to a fully boiling pot. Do not run away from home. It is very dangerous and devoid of any blessing. I suggest that children born to parents whose customs allow parents broad powers to choose spouses for their children, to start discussing the topic of marriage and choice very early – as early as age ten. Do not delay discussions until you are introduced to someone.  Children, do not fear to talk to your parents about marriage. When you are young, the parents, too, are not sure which of their choice would be the best in-law. At this time, if you talk to them, they may even mention to you some of their choices. You, too, can add to their list. At this time, no firm objections are necessary. This is a time for observation. When finally time comes to pick the best man or the best woman, everyone concerned would have been an active participant in the process.      


                                                    iii.            Allah (S.W.A) sides with the parents on this issue.

“And we enjoined on man to be good to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command) ‘Show gratitude to me and to thy parents: to me is (your final) Goal. (31:14)”

“But if they strive to make you join in worship with me things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that you did. (31:15)”

I know it is extremely repugnant to have to marry someone you may even hate. It is like sacrificing ones entire life. It is awful. Nevertheless, let us remember this verse in situations such as this. Here is goes:

“Fighting is prescribed upon you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not. (2:216)”

Learn the lesson in this verse. In the end, our parents’ refusal of our choice or their choice of a spouse for us may turn out to be a good thing  after all. Even if it turns out to be disastrous, it is enough consolation that we at least obeyed Allah (S.W.A). Remember, life is not about having the greatest time while still breathing; it is about obedience, worship and service to Allah (S.W.A)

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