Contentment of heart is what we all truly yearn for. There are only two things Allāh mentions in the Glorious Qur’an that bring us the contentment we seek: His remembrance: “…verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” (Qur’an, 13:28), and marriage: “And of His signs is that He created for you, of yourselves, spouses, that you may find rest in them…” (Qur’an, 30:21).
The exhilarating journey of marriage begins – as do all good acts in Islam – with intention. The intention to follow a beautiful sunnah and to gain Allah’s good pleasure.
As a practicing Muslim, one may be aware that dating is a no-no, but may feel that it isn’t exactly possible not to in today’s times. Like, how on earth do you get married if you cannot date?! Islam means to submit your will to the will of Allah (SWT). This necessitates trusting Him. Trusting that He knows best. He is Al-Wadūd, the Most Loving. And it is He who places love in our hearts. So the love that He places in the hearts of a couple who get married according to His sacred law can only be the purest form of love. When one understands this, one bears no anxiety over marrying someone without being “in love” with them first.
So what is the process to getting married? Going about marriage should start with the intention to get to know someone purely with the purpose of marriage as the outcome. After either the man or the woman expressing interest through a third person, the man and woman meet up in the presence of a third person, for as many times as they need, to converse and ask each other pertinent questions – in order to determine whether they are compatible or not. If things go well, they go forward, and if not, they go their separate ways. Since there is no intimacy that leads to emotional investment, there is no heartache if things don’t work out, nor any feelings of embarrassment or loss of dignity. As a side note, it doesn’t matter if people knew that the prospective partners were meeting, because it was within the boundaries of sacred law, and they will be rewarded by Allah for it.
A beautiful du’a to make is: Oh, Allah do not attach my heart to what is not meant for me, and make me contented with Your decree. (This was a du’a I made during the process of getting to know my now husband.)
With regards to the process, there isn’t only one way to go about it. It doesn’t have to be the traditional way where the guy’s whole family comes to the girl’s house for the very first meeting. Sometimes people don’t want to tell their parents right away that they’ve met someone they see as a potential spouse. They may think it’s not serious enough yet, or don’t want to get their entire family excited for potentially nothing. As long as there is a third person involved from the beginning, whether it’s a sibling, or a trustworthy member of the community, you’re in the green zone of permissibility, because as we’re taught by our beloved Prophet (SAW) “No man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.” (al-Tirmidhi). In today’s times it’s actually easier to practice because there are more ways to get to know the person in a permissible manner, such as a WhatsApp group chat with the girl, the guy, and the third person, or emailing and cc’ing in the third person. In my case it was my younger brother who I included in my WhatsApp group and emails (as I’m closer to him and was thus was more comfortable having him present as opposed to my older brother or my father). Even if one doesn’t have practicing Muslim family members, when one’s intention is to please Allāh (SWT), He will open up the way.
This beautiful law of Allah seems stringent, outdated, or even absurd to many young Muslims in a world where dating and hooking up is the order of the day. However, when one looks at the number of people who end up broken-hearted and suffer emotional turmoil and psychological damage due to illicit relationships and break-ups, one comes to realise the wisdom of Allah (SWT).
Marriage is one of the biggest life decisions one has to make, and it is a source of attaining barakah in one’s life. So the importance of attaining Allah’s pleasure right from the beginning of the process cannot be overemphasized.
Sometimes the life of the Prophet (SAW) and his inspirational Companions (RA) seem unattainable to us today, so looking to living examples bring their teachings to life. Seeing the blessed life that my teachers lead inspired me to resolve to get married for the sake of Allah (SAW). I don’t look to celebrity “power couples” as my inspiration, but I see my teachers as a true power couple. They are each directors of their own Islamic institutions and also founded a school together. Talk about #couplegoals! Once I saw them eating out of the same plate in the masjid after an event, and for a moment, I didn’t see them, but I saw the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Aaishah (RA).
After having firm resolve, I made du’a, and put it out there, letting my family, teachers, and friends know. I even created a Facebook album called “Dear Future Husband” long before I had one. I also tried Islamic matrimonial websites at one point. Because how can you ask Allāh to guide your steps if you are not willing to move your feet? I know that some people are fortunate in that their marriage just fell into place without much effort on their part, while others have to go to great lengths. Ultimately, marriage is not an achievement, but a blessing that Allāh SWT gifts us with.
Several years later, Allāh finally blessed me with the one who He had written for me, Alhamdulillah. I share snippets of my life on Instagram and on my blog not to brag about but rather to show the blessings of Allah (SWT) as He encourages us: “talk about the blessings of your Lord” (Qur’an, 93:11). In doing this, I intend to give hope and to inspire others as I was inspired by my teachers, May Allah (SWT) protect and reward them. Āmīn.
Follow her on Instagram: @wasfeeya