Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Factors in Marriage

There is a famous hadith in which the Prophet (SWAS) listed the factors people consider while choosing a mate and which among them is the best. Obviously it is the golden rule in this matter, applicable for all times and in all cultures.

If we try to analyze today's societies one way that we may try to classify families is based on their secular and religious education. There are families who have achieved a high level in both secular as well as religious education -- such families are less common these days, but they should be among the top consideration with respect to marriage. Not only do such people have a good understanding of the modern world, they also have the spiritual insights regarding the purpose of their existence. They make use of their secular education to fulfill that mission for which they are created. Life means more to them than just economic survival, eating, drinking, reproducing, etc. It is an honor for someone to marry in such a family.

Since perfection is not possible in this world, if one is not able to find such people, one should seek those who have high religious education, even though they might be lacking somewhat in their secular education. Such people may not fully understand the modern world or relate the role of their lives on affecting global society, but they are firmly at grips with their Islamic worldview and positively influence life at a local level. It is important to differentiate people who follow decadent traditions (many of them unislamic) and those that follow genuine authentic religion. If you have a high level of secular education, marrying among such people might create a good balance in the overall family unit.

A third group for consideration might be those with high secular education but deficient religious education. In such a decision, care must be taken to see if the nature of the secular education the family has is not against the Islamic worldview. It is hoped by marrying in such a family, that they may use their resources and free time to acquire quality religious education at a later stage in life. One can see a social phenomenon these days that more and more such families are implementing the deen in their lives.

The last group that marriage might be possible in are those families who do not value secular nor religious education. Unfortunately these days such people are in the majority. The mindset of these people are made by popular culture and mass media. They are incapable of deep independent thought. Their concern in life is only to have a good time. Marrying in such people is prone to problems, as it is very easy to aggravate relations with such a family. When they face disagreements such people exceed the bounds of decency and re-establishing proper relations with them becomes a nightmare. These people do not respect any higher principle in any argument as their emotions and personal concerns get the better of them. Often you will find such people with communal mindset, ready to identify with only people from their own family background. Hence marriage to this category should be avoided, if possible.

Marriage is an important decision and a wrong choice may cause you a lifetime of anguish, so choose wisely and be content.

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