I watched this last week, and had to wait til another day off to take notes. One of my fav bloggers does notes on lectures, and I thought it was better than just posting a link.
As a disclaimer, some of this lecture follows stereotypical desi life structure/culture so to speak, in that there are assumptions about the progression of life that doesn’t fit everyone. However, this lecture was really interesting and beneficial. In sha Allah I’ll do part 2 later.
The main topics will be plain text, while specifics of the topics are in italics.
Why marriage is legislated in Islam
1. Maintains chastity
2. Halal means to fulfil desires.
3. To procreate
4. Cornerstone of Muslim communities
- In societal hierarchy, married couples/families are at the top, while singles are at the bottom.
- Developmentally the final step in establishing relationships after parents and friends.
- Companionship is an issue downplayed by brothers.
- Sisters assume that their husband will be their best friend. – Become distressed/confused when assumption not fulfilled.
Ruling on obligation of Marriage
1. Not fard (obligatory)
- Rasoolullah salallahu alaihi wa salam said “Marriage is from my sunnah, and whoever rejects my sunnah is not from me.”
3. Becomes haraam (not permissible) when:
- The man already has 4 wives
- The two spouses were breastfed by the same lady
- Criteria of marriage not fulfilled i.e. one person is a mushrik, no wali involved, verbal consent not given
4. Becomes makhrooh (not recommended) when:
- Financially unable to support spouse/family
- Prospect is weak in faith
5. Is mubah (not sinful or rewarded) when:
- Marrying 2nd or more wives
What to look for in women
- Rasoolullah salallahu alaihi wa salam said, “A woman can be married for 4 things: Her deen (way of life, faith), her beauty, her wealth, or her lineage. And deen is most important.”
Most important characteristics in akhlak (manners) in a women are:
1. How grateful she is
- The number 1 complaint from husbands is that their wives are ungrateful.
2. How respectful she is to her parents
- [Uthman?] Abdul Aziz said “look for the friend that looks after their parents. If they look after their parents, they will look after you.”
What to look for in men
- Rasoolullah salallahu alaihi wa salam said “If a man approaches you and you are satisfied with his deen, marry him, or there will be great fitnah in the world.”
Most important characteristics in men.
- Wife is happier when their husband spends on them and is not miserly
- Generosity is a sign of gratefulness
- Wife is psychologically happier with a generous husband i.e. spending on her, paying zakat, sadaqah (charity)
2. How he controls his anger
- Anger is a natural defense mechanism in men
- Is something that must be tamed
Deen is the most important recurring theme
- If a person doesn’t fear Allah, it’s easier for them to abuse people
- If a person is void of iman (faith), manners and ethics will not be upheld.
Meetings and discussion topics.
- Major reason for divorce is incompatibility
- Minimum of 10 meetings recommended
Topics to discuss
1. The past
- The object is not to expose sins
- Discuss things that may be a negative part of your past
- Explain how you got to where you are now
- Ask about past/current spouses – Sisters often assume a brother is single
2. The future
- Do you have a bucket list?
- Discuss relocation plans
- Is Hajj or hijrah in your plans?
3. Role of Islam in the family
- Does the person accept or reject Islamic advice?
- Does the person pray, fast, pay zakat?
- Does the person refer to Quran and Sunnah to resolve issues?
- How will wealth be obtain?
- How will it be handled (saving, investing, etc)?
- Who will be working? – It is the man’s duty to maintain the household, and he should not take on the western concept of “splitting the bills.” The wife spending on household finances should be discussed fully, and not expected.
- Major diseases (diabetes, mental illnesses, heart disease, etc)? -Discuss illnesses that run in your family.
- How will the both of you stay/get in shape? -Join a gym or play a sport.
- Does the person have the desire to grow and improve?
- How much will be spent on books and tuition?
- Does the person want to increase their Islamic knowledge?
- Avoid persons who don’t want to/don’t think they need to grow or improve -Persons such as these tend to be arrogant
Joke: What’s the difference between outlaws and inlaws? The outlaws are actually wanted.
- Will you be living with the inlaws?
- Discuss when to visit your parents and inlaws (assuming they live far away?)
- Do you expect your wife to take care of your parents?
- How many children would you like to have?
- Men should be present and active in the upbringing of their children. -Men should not assume a “back home” role of only working and not helping with the children.
8. Hobbies and pastimes.
- Discuss both yours and his hobbies
- Are they expensive and/or very time consuming? -Video games now something of an epidemic amongst adult men
- Will your free time be spent with friends or family?
9. Pet peeves.
- Number 1 fear of women is that their husband will snore. – Instances where women have asked for khula over snoring
- Are you open to your spouse going further in his/her career?
- Will both spouses be able to advance their career?
- Who will see after the children if both spouses are working?
- Look for an ambitious person
All these topics should be discussed in 10 separate meetings. The wisdom behind having so many meetings is that you will get to see the person go through good days and bad days. The first day, the person may be dressed immaculately, then by the 7th or 8th meeting they will be showing up in their pajamas. You have to learn to be comfortable with the plain, dressed down version of your prospect.
Establishing a reference point
Establish in advance what you will reference and who you will seek counsel from in moments of dispute.
Istikhara should performed after making the decision to marry the prospect, not during the time you are trying to make a decision. A dream or feeling will NOT come to you, as is often assumed. If the affair is easy for you, then you should continue. If the matter becomes difficult, then it is best to step back and reevaluate.
Istishara is seeking advice from people. There are three types of people to seek advice about a prospect from.
- Speak to as many family members as possible.
- How did the prospect interact with different members?
- How did they handle various situations?
- Does the prospect treat his/her friend(s) to lunch, etc?
- Do they give gifts?
- Is she/he there for their friend in times of need?
- Does he/she show up to class/work on time?
- Is she/he respectful of deadlines?
- Do they respect authority?
- How do they problem solve at work/school?
Is it appropriate to contact your prospects’ previous spouse? It is recommended to take the due diligence of contacting previous spouses. Some ex’s may be bitter, so it’s best to take what they say with a grain of salt. But surprisingly, some ex’s have positive things to say.
It is said by our predecessors that the one who makes istikhara will have no regrets, and the one who make istishara will not be disappointed.
- Engagement means that is has been agreed that the two prospects intend to get married.
- Reciting Al Fatiha is common, but not Islamically correct.
- While engaged, it’s not permissible for women to entertain other proposals –It is not permissible for men to propose to a woman whom they know is engaged.
- An engagement ring is not Islamically correct – A general agreement among ulema is that it is suitable if only for the purpose of showing that the person is spoken for.
How to propose
- Do not show up unannounced at a man’s house asking for his daughter! Shocking advice.
- Go through a good referral
- Bring gifts
- Dress your best – Humans are very judgmental and make judgements based on appearance very quickly.
- Positive body language
Integrals of a marriage contract
For the contract to be valid
1. There has to be a bride and groom!
2. The bride must have a wali
- There is no marriage without a wali
- The default wali is the brides father. If the father has passed or isn’t capable, then the brother. After that, the next closest male relative from the father’s side.
3. There has to be offering and acceptance of the contract (verbal consent).
Wajibat (obligations) for nikkah
1, Mahr (dowry).
- Rasoolullah salallahu alaihi wa salam said “the best of marriages are those without financial burden.” This includes the mahr.
- If not given, the nikkah is valid, but the couple is sinful.
- The mahr must be customary for the woman’s status.
- Not a million dollars!
- Not stingy – Not an iron ring or memorization of a surah
- The mahr should be an amount that shows love and concern
- The nikkah is not invalid without witnesses, but the couple is sinful
- The nikkah must be publicly announced – It’s should be announced so that people will not assume something evil when the couple is seen together
Stipulations in the contract
The bride and groom should discuss limits and conditions of the nikkah.
Can polygyny be stipulated? In general, any stipulation should not go against the goal or objective of the marriage. For example, if one stipulates that they will marry but they won’t have intercourse, that goes against the objectives of marriage. If the bride stipulates that she would not like to be a co-wife, and this does not go against the objectives of the marriage, then yes it is allowed. The groom can either accept, negotiate, or reject.
Facing difficulty finding a spouse
Finding a proper prospect and getting married is a long process.
- 10 meetings may take weeks to a year
Physical maturity does not equal mental maturity
Persons looking to get married should have a minimal amount of college completed.
Must be ready to be responsible for someone else (he meant this for brothers, but sisters have to be responsible for their husbands too. No time for princess mentality.)
Having a wealthy family and owning a car does not make a brother stable enough for marriage.
A brother should be able to hold down a job for at least a year and also show that he’s able to save money.
Attempting to earn a high degree (masters, Phd) and planning to work and accumulate a good amount of savings before making an effort to get married will being older in age.
The older the sister is, the more difficult it is to get married. – She is typically set in her ways, her youthful excitement is no longer there
A sister should prepare for marriage in their first years of college. She should seek a spouse that will be supportive of her ambitions.
Ideal age combination
Psychologically, the ideal age combination for compatibility equals:
- Half the man’s age, plus 7.
- For example, a 26 year old man will be most compatible with a 20 year old woman.
Solutions for difficulties finding a spouse
1. Discuss it
- Can’t be handled alone.
2. Use resources
- Imam, families, technology
- Recommend purematrimony.com and halfourdeen.com
3. Tawakal on Allah
- Istikhara, praying at night, du’a.
- Help others get married – Rasoolullah salallahu alaihi wa salam said “Allah will be the aide of His slave if the slave is the aide of his brother.”
- Be encouraging and helpful