MY Voice Interview with Dr. Mohamed Beshir
- What means can the youth use to protect themselves from « fiten »?
Things to do
- Exercise lowering of the gaze as much as possible
- Manage your time well and get involved in as many volunteer activities as possible
- Select good friends and company who would remind you of Allah and help you to be close to Him
- Use the proper Islamic etiquettes when it comes to opposite gender interactions
- Strengthen your spirituality by attending night prayers and participating in Islamic halaqas of Qur’anic studies and recitation
- Follow the Prophet’s advice and fast voluntarily as many days as you can
- Get married as soon as you are able to do so
Things to avoid
- Avoid being alone as much as possible
- Don’t watch any TV shows, DVDs or movies that may contain material that could sexually excite you
- When is it the right time for a person to get married?
The right time for a person to get married will be different from one person to another. The most important thing to decide the proper time to get married for a person is to make sure that he/she meets the criteria identified in the hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad SAAW. This criterion is the ability to get married. This ability has been explained by scholars as the physical and emotional ability to start a new family and be able to fulfill the needs of this new unit in the society. Many parents put hurdles in front of the couple who intend to get married by asking the potential husband for a huge mahr and many other materialistic things. These obstacles are cultural practices that have nothing to do with Islam. It is the parent’s duty to facilitate marriage for young people so they don’t fall into Haram.
So while one person may be able to get married while he/she is still attending college, another person may not be able to do so. The parents of the first person may be willing to support the new couple by hosting them in their own house for example until they finish there degrees and are able to move out on their own, while the parents of the second person may be reluctant to help.
- What are the criteria one should consider in himself or herself before taking a step for marriage and how does one search for a suitable spouse?
The criteria are the following:
- Proper understanding of the following:
- Nature of marriage
- Main objectives of marriage
- Foundations of marriage
- Gender relations in Islam
- Spousal relations in Islam
- Essential spousal obligations
- Qur’anic rules of communications
- Islamic way of resolving conflicts
- Physical ability
- Financial ability (ie: having enough means to support a family in the case of the husband)
- Emotional ability (ie: being emotionally ready and mature enough to carry the responsibility of taking good care of and maintaining the family)
- Basic idea about financial management
Some may think that this is too much; however, we believe that marriage is serious business because Allah SWT describes it as a solemn covenant in the Qura’an. As such, it should never be taken lightly and one should prepare well to ensure a successful marriage insha’a Allah.
As for how one searches for a suitable spouse, we suggest the following:
- Prepare yourself by reading relevant and authentic books on the subject of marriage
- Make the intention that you want to get married as an act of obedience to Allah SWT and to follow the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAAW and fulfill the purpose of your existence on earth as a vicegerent for Allah SWT
- Compile a list of “must haves” and a list of “nice to have” traits you are looking for in your potential match
- Get your parents involved. Consult with them, listen to their advice, and keep them informed of your plans. Their experience will prove priceless during the process
- Start collecting information. Use all possible avenues to collect as much information as you can. Some of the avenues where you can look for a potential match and find information are:
- Family members and friends
- Various local community activities
- Islamic marriage websites on the Internet
- Matrimonial desks available during national conventions
- When you think that you have found a candidate that could be a good match, ask your parents to approach the potential candidate’s parents to start the process of getting to know each other at a deeper level before making the final decision. Parents should facilitate this process to give the opportunity for the couple to meet and get to know each other, of course, without violating any of the Islamic principles related to opposite gender interactions. An example of this could be through having a few family members from both sides (including adult family members) going out together to the same restaurant for a family lunch/dinner. However, in the restaurant you can permit the couple to sit together on their own separate table to have a more relaxed atmosphere and better opportunity to get to know each other.
- Based on the initial meeting, both parties could agree to continue these kind of meetings and/or agree on other communication mechanisms to find out more about each other if they feel that the chance of being a good match is high. They could also agree to suspend meetings because the chances of being good match are low.
- These meetings should not be extended indefinitely or more than needed to get to know each other. As soon as both parties feel that they have enough core values in common and feel comfortable enough towards the chances of the success of this match, an official engagement should be announced and official marriage contract (Katb Kitab) should follow soon after.
- We would like to emphasize that during this process, families of both candidates should be closely involved to ensure that there is no violation to Islamic principles and to benefit the couple from their life experience
- Proper understanding of the following:
- Is being in love before marriage important?
Not necessarily. The main two foundations of marriage are Mawadah and Rahmah. The most important thing is to make sure that during the selection process both candidates of marriage have the same objectives in life and have enough things in common to ensure keeping the Mawadah and Rahmah alive between them during their married life.
One may say, but Mawadah is another word for love and in reality, positive and healthy love is one of the components of Mawadah. But Mawadah is much more than just love. It is a very comprehensive kind of love. It is a love that brings the best out of the couple and makes them closer to Allah SWT and better humans. The word Mawadah describes the real love that ensures the commitment of both spouses to work for the sake of Allah SWT and be righteous people. This is clearly understood when one reflects on the use of the word Mawadah or its derivatives in the Qur’an. Here is an example:
“إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ وُدًّا”
“Verily, those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, Allah will bestow Wooda for them.”
The word Wooda is from the same root as the word Mawadah. Allah SWT emphasizes that this kind of great feeling will be bestowed on the believers as a result to their belief and righteous deeds.
The love intended here is not the love of possessing and controlling; rather it is the love of comforting and considering. Associating the word Rahmah with Mawadah in the same verse is another witness to the nature of this love.
Finally, one may ask if this means that there is no place for romance in an Islamic marriage. The answer is, of course there is a place for romance in an Islamic marriage, but romance is not the main foundation of the marriage. Otherwise, when the fire of romance dies out, the marriage would suffer. The foundation of Islamic marriage is based on more tangible qualities that have the property of continuity and growth within a good marital relationship. At the top of these qualities are Mawadah and Rahmah.
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