Al-Huda Foundation, USA

the Message Continues ... i3/4


Marriage Before or After University

Batool Syed


The following is a response to Hussein Khimji’s article, from the last issue, entitled “Marriage: Before or After University.”

 The essay was interesting; the author clearly prefers an alternative reception to the ‘traditional’ response regarding marriage in Muslim communities. I feel that some important factors regarding early marriage have been neglected in the essay. In which case, I have provided some excerpts from the article with respective feed - back. Hopefully it will be beneficial to the author and readers alike.

 “While it is the responsibility for all Muslims to get married and start a family, it is just as important to first mature in preparation for marriage, so that the marriage is most successful. I think parents could help in reversing this type of thinking. Instead of saying ‘Oh! He cannot get married till he can stand on his own two feet’, they should help them financially and give them support so they could maintain a good balance of marriage and studying.”

 The good parents who have raised us have also provided for us most of our lives. If one were to follow the advice given by Khimji, when get-ting married, there are now two people for mom and dad to take care of. A most genuine reason for getting married invokes motivation to do it in the eyes of God, and for the best. But if the couple is not willing to start off secure in themselves, then it becomes a selfish union because now they may be taking unfair advantage of their parents. It would be understandable if there is no alter-native for the couple, but to stay with the parents until they stand on their own, however one should never enter marriage thinking, “I just want to get married” with no thought to those around them. Marriage, in addition to being other things, is a partnership. Relying on the financial support of a third party is an invitation for unnecessary problems.

 “…Some people say that in case a boy and girl get married, their minds and attentions would be distracted and diverted from their studies, this is merely an error. Instead if they  are married their minds would be more focused, since the scattered and deviated thoughts would go out of their minds. Their hearts, minds and eyes would be detached and separated from other places and become more focused upon each other, thus there would be contentment in life.”

 It is true in some cases that the boy and girl do become more focused, but the situation put forth by the author is quite ideal. First, how can two people who are reliant on a third party ‘detach’ their ‘hearts, minds and eyes’ from all else but each other? Concerning studies, I see no harm in waiting until one’s education is complete. For some couples in college the marriage becomes a handicap. This is not always the case, but it is good to keep in mind.

 Before marriage is possible, all problems should be cleared, so as not to entrench the couple in the future. To simply predict from one or two general examples that contentment will undoubtedly occur is unreliable; “Marriage, in addition to being other things, is a partnership.”   especially when such examples are taken at face value. Splitting into categories, i.e. this type of marriage vs. that, is ill - suited for the important issue of marriage. It demotes something of great potential to something  which can be defined and measured.

“They must take into view this important point that they may face spiritual and physical inconveniences and after crossing all these phases; they may not have all that health, fresh-ness  and fortitude to organize and establish and prosper.”

Quite the contrary. Once you have gone through such difficulties and realizations, you are better fit for the changes brought by life; in turn can use your experience and what you learned for good, which is best for the new relationship. Problems such as those listed above become visible to many in adolescence. Does this mean marriage at the age of 15 is good, and can be seen as a solution to the troubles we must deal with as we are growing up?