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January 14, 2010

S.O.S to My Brothers!

Save Our Sisters… yes I am coming to the source. Well I am coming to my brothers. For those who follow my blog, you know I don’t like things complicated. So I want some honest feedback on this matter. Don’t worry guys it won’t be used against you in future writings, (smile) I promise.

The last few days I have been meeting with perspective husbands. Alhamdulillah according to the principles of Islam I am seeking to complete the remaining half of my deen. Now that sounds both serious and technical. It is serious…insha Allah this is a man that I pray will be with me in this life, and in the Hereafter.

After sitting and talking for a short time (there was a guardian in the home) with each brother a decision was made whether to continue the process, or decline. Let’s just say there were no further meetings arranged. My criteria for a husband are really simple…it’s the bits and pieces of life that weigh heavy on finding him.

As Muslims we can’t date, so we have our Walli or guardian arrange for us sisters to meet the brothers interested in marriage. This is where the fun begins. It seems difficult for the man to fully grasp that “marrying” is not or should not be the end of the process. Ladies want to feel a connection, and yes we can usually tell right away if there is a spark. I am not speaking about the romantic aspect of marriage, insha Allah that will come after time.

Bothers I wasn’t born a Muslim and thus, my Walli is not in my family. How does a man who has never met “me” search for my future husband? I have spoken to several sisters and this is a very disheartening issue. Yes we can go to a Masjid and insha Allah the Imam will help find us someone…but, no one is getting to know the sisters! I give my bothers credit; I know they are capable of holding a conversation with a sister without crossing the line into the haram. But come on…a guy will research the specs for a future car or new gadget for weeks comparing all the facts before making a decision. A sister says she is interested in marriage, and they simply put out a call to all available parties.

Don’t your sisters deserve better? Why are we only a consideration when the fear of sex outside marriage is looming in the air? Alhamdulillah I am asking that the brothers recommend only, who they know very well. Want for your sisters in Islam, what you wish for your daughters or your blood sisters. Jazak Allah Khairum for the brothers who are sincerely helping us in our quest. Okay I will step off of my soapbox and listen. Insha Allah this will give me some insight into this marriage process….hey and please don’t be shy. As brothers do you have some of the same worries as a sister?

P.S. For the brothers I met, may Allah (swt) grant them the best of wives who are good for them!

11 comments:

UmmHadiqah said...

As-salaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatuhu.

Ukhti habibti....AL7AMDULILLAH!!!!!! *Whew* You said what I'm trying to say, lol. Now I will ask every brother I know to read this and reply. Please brothers....

ns8t said...

sisters seeking marriage in the west and especially sisters who were not born to a muslim family face numerous challenge that muslims in a muslim majority society do not face. i believe this problem requires an innovative approach, and a solution that our noble sheikhs in middle east may not conclude because they are distant to this problem. i believe that internet is a useful tool as it allows individuals to explore character and idea and values with relativley little compromise to shyness. it may be the solution for alienated western muslims exploring marriage possibilities.

on another note, it is somewhat shameful to see western brothers marrying non muslims when they know that it mathematically leave the sisters unmarried. in addition it is somewhat shameful when brother goes 'back home' to 'import' a bride. brothers, dont abandon your new muslim sisters please.

UmmHadiqah said...

Subhana'Allah. Our bothers in Islaam serve many roles, and one in particular I respect is the role as our guardians in many situations. But, am I allowed to be frank ya ukhti? Is it just me, or are the brothers More Talk and Less Walk? And I'm NOT BroBashing! Call me frustrated, Subhana Allah. But, the brothers have ID'd the problem (The Sisters need our help)....and the solution.....nada!

I feel like I'm on bended knee! I won't beg, because the true Protection comes from Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala. But still...is there a sense of RESPONSIBILITY you feel brothers? I'm starting to feel like a guest on the Maury Show. Instead of, "You are NOT the father," I am hearing, "You are NOT going to be looked after!"

"Sabr, sister." I hear it everyday and Jazaka Allahu khairan ya ikhwan, for Allah ta'ala loves the patient. I'm not asking for a 24hr miracle....just your real assistance, your real devotion, your real guidance. It's not enough to see the broken pipe lest you fix it.

I'm done...for now. Didn't mean to hijack (wrong word for Muslim, lol) your blog.

Love you ALL for the sale of Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala.

If I said anything wrong, forgive my transgressions.

ns8t said...

i was thinking about this issue since my last comment. While we know the ideal wali for a womyn is a mature male in her family, the question remains what to do if there is no muslim male in that family. we have been told that an upright member of the muslim community or a community leader can serve as wali. The sister has concerns about how unrelated man who doesnt know sister can find a suitable groom for her. i believe that if the wali has a good understanding of the sunnah, he needs only to find a groom who follows the sunnah without any deviation or innovation, and the superior character will be a default match for any pious sister. The problem today is in finding a brother who follows the sunnah without deviation or innovation. oops.

hijabandroses said...

As'salamu Alaikum dear ukhti, you are welcome to "hijack" the blog anytime. I feel and live your frustration daily. Yes as sisters we walk a fine line in this pursuit towards marriage.

While some brothers may indeed empathize with our plight...it still remains "ours" alone. Perhaps, the fact that women out number men, the problem we face is not truly understood. The old supply in demand theory.

While I never profess to have any knowledge regarding the Fatwas of Islam, I can only try and spark thought and increase dialogue. If one brother will due his duty and accept a sister as his wife, thus protecting her chastity and his,then Alhamdulillah it is worth some frustration. Stay optimistic ukhti, only Allah (swt)knows the unseen and what tomorrow holds for each of us!

hijabandroses said...

Jazak Allah for all of the replies. I truly read each and everyone. It is only when we all interact that I can learn and insha'Allah increase my faith.

Keep sharing the thoughts!

Amagdy said...

Asalamo Alikum,

I missed the post as I was having exams and just get to check the blog now to find an interesting topic and interesting discussion, Masha' Allah.

Frankly, this post stroke the sense of responsibility to my Muslim sisters and Insha' Allah, I'll try to talk with different people about that situation and finding practical solution to it.

I agree with brother ns8t that the issue is different in Muslim majority countries as a completely different marriage procedure actually applies, I might write about it if anyone interested to know.

I agree with the concept that someone who don't know you well might not be able to find the most suitable person. But in my understanding the Wali is required to complete the marriage process, but how to meet potential partners doesn't have to be arranged through him.

Most people who marry here for example marry someone they met at work or from normal daily interaction, I understand in communities with little numbers of Muslims that might be very hard.

As brother ns8t said an online marriage profile, might be a solution, I used some of these Muslim Matrimonial sites before, but frankly the internet is very deceptive & ambiguous going further in such relationship implies risk that might be taken if the person understands how to manage it and make sure he/she is going to be played or deceived.

Personal recommendation might be a very important factor and thumbs up for you sister Nazeeha for setting things as straight as it should.

Briefly, If I'm to imagine levels of how to meet a future husband for a sister in the west.

First, is direct interaction offline or even online in which you get to know one another and able to maturely develop that to marriage, for that to happen we just need to be ourselves and very clear and precise about all our details.

The second level may be personal recommendations not only form the Wali! sisters should widen their social circle in Muslim communities and know other sisters, that might be a natural way of being recommended to someone.

Then comes online marriage sites, but being cautious is very important, double-checking the information and making sure that you'd not be lied to is very important.

This is not my final thoughts in the issue, I might get back when I have something to add Insha' Allah.

hijabandroses said...

Wa Alaikum As'salam brother Amagdy thank you for your response. Let me invite you to post and/or write further your viewpoint on marriage in Muslim majority countries whenever you wish.

This is where I, and other sisters needed clarity. I agree speaking directly to a brother is needed to establish a "connection" not to be confused with a desire. For myself and other sisters who do not have a wali in the true sense, we need to do the ground work...and then insha'Allah find a brother in good standing to facilitate the process if needed.

I am pleased and thankful for the dialogue that is occurring on this topic. This is a blog for all of us. I look forward to your continued thoughts on this subject.

UmmHadiqah said...

As-salaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatuhu. I'm still giving thought to this subject, and Al7amdulillah, I'm not so emotional and can give a clear headed resply in sha'Allah.

Pardon me for assuming anything sister, but is your frustration not just the fact that we revert Muslimah's are without an insta-Wali, but the fact that once we are blessed with one, he's goes about it all wrong. Or even worse...we practically beg brothers, and instead of stepping up and stepping in, they give you the old pat on the back?!

Subhana'Allah, I'm not one to shy away from saying what I think one way or another. Brothers, the SOS is a call for help, no? We know the problem, it's been identified....so, now what?

To bring myself down from an emotional response into a rational one, I examine the Hadith...

'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said: "The Prophet said, 'Islam began as something strange, and it will revert to being strange as it was in the beginning, so good tidings for the strangers.' Someone asked, 'Who are the strangers?' He said, 'The ones who break away from their people (literally, 'tribes') for the sake of Islam.' "

Yes, this is relevant! There are signs upon signs that warn of the Hour approaching...and the state of marriage in the ummah gives me one more clear proof. Marriage according to the Sunnah of Muhammad Sal Allahu Alaihi wa Sallam seems....strange, no? I mean, to me, it's rational....but in general, with the state of the ummah TODAY....it's strange. Sisters with their outrageous dowry demands, not allowing the brothers what Allah Subhana wa ta'ala allows (more than one wife); brothers not protecting their sisters. Subhana'Allah.

I'm trying to make a point, lol....Did I make it? Gracious me....in sha'Allah, when I can have a serious conversation with a BROTHER about this....I'll continue. Til then, It's me and you ummi *smile*

Amagdy said...

Welcome back sister Nazeeha and sister UmmHadiqah,

I see we should isolate between marriage in the Arab/Muslim majority counties and in the west especially away from Muslim communities.

Here in the Arab world and I'm talking about the majority. it's more about money and financial ability and then social status. Marriage takes place according to the Islamic terms from outside, but the essence is missing.

Lifestyle in the Arab world is different and economic conditions too, no one can disagree that that one who seek marriage should be financially capable of maintaining his family in a good condition, but in majority of cases that doesn't seem to be the requirement, girls families does seem to require "assets" to make sure that their daughter will be living in a higher condition and in somehow be proud of it!

I see that type of marriage is just like a sociopolitical thing. In a lot of cases where couples are in love and want to be with one another, they separate as a result of the girl's family exaggerated requirements.

Accordingly, for a brother living in a Muslim majority country with such mentality, he should find away not to think about marriage until having the expected "assets" and that means years maybe of hard working and inner Jihad keeping himself on the right path and making no mistake.

That have nothing to do with Islamic marriage and even human nature as long as the person have an income that can sustain a family, if I'm the father why shouldn't my daughter be beside him while building "their" assets. Making it a love thing more than a partnership in a financial institution.

So, tell me sister UmmHadiqah why a brother in such condition should be considered irresponsible to his Muslim sisters?

Frankly, I heard a lot of times shouts to back-off western Muslimahs. A respectful lady said somewhere online: don't you have a large percentage of unmarried Muslim girls in your countries, why not to take your responsibility back home other than proposing to reverts? So, are brothers wrong any path they take?

In the west, there is not as much family complexities and accordingly getting married is a decision of the couple.

I guess brothers and sisters there get married as well, right? So, may be in areas with no Muslim communities a new tools to be introduced to suitable partners might need to be utilized.

By the way I'm open for any kind of dialogue in the matter.

UmmHadiqah said...

As-Salaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allah Brother Amagdy,

I don't understand your question to me, so I will answer this way: methinks the irresponsible brothers are those who don't care to provide a solution to the problem. Marriage within the Ummah, from East to West, is turning into something that mimics secular society's marriage. I can't comment on life or marriage in the Arab world because I'm not there.

In the end, brothers should stand up for themselves with their roots taken out of the soil of their cultures so much and plant themselves firmly in their Deen. And sisters should take their minds away from what secular society says a marriage is, and take a look into the Sunnah of our Prophet Sal Allahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Let's not place rediculous demands on the brothers.

I probably didn't answer your question, but I tried. I can't answer for the 'West' as far as marriage is concerned. When I was growing up, granny never said to find the rich guy, or the religious guy.....but the strong and handsome one. Rationale: make strong and handsome sons, because they would raise our status in society. I've learned to shift my priorities around, and I think we all generally should.

Marriage: guided by our religion, not our culture. Should be, no?

But hey, I'm still single *smile*

salaams