Tying The Knot: Marriage in the Muslim World07 Apr 2020
One of the most important relationships you find a person embarking on in their lifetime is marriage. Everyone experiences this time in their life differently, and there can never be an absolutely definitive statement of what constitutes a good one. Given that everyone understands and shows love differently, this concept of marriage can mean a plethora of things, depending on who you speak to.
In the Muslim community, marriage is a very important stage in one’s life. It is a time that you complete half of your faith, it is the recognition of the other, and it is the ability to do the rest of your life together with someone by your side. With the many wonderful aspects that marriage encompasses, such as companionship, intimacy at the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels, as well as shared goals and life aspirations, there are also many challenges that come with it.
Culture plays a very crucial role in many decisions we make, especially when it comes to marriage. This can present itself as a challenge when making decisions, where two people may have different views on how to live and what comes along with that.
For starters, is there a right way to find a spouse? How do the unmarried pursue other unmarried individuals in a way that will maintain their religious and moral obligations, while also being able to understand a person well enough to decide to tie the knot? How does one know when they have found ‘the one”? What challenges present itself when marriage involves different cultures?
Where historically, people were arranged together for marriage, how does this differ in today’s world? What is the role of social media amidst this process, for example- the newly emerging ‘Halal’ Dating Apps? What are some of the challenges to finding a spouse today?
Once you manage to find a spouse, what about the possibility of having to maintain a long-distance relationship? How has this been easier/harder today? Are the negative connotations associated with long-distance relationships changing given the nature of communication today?
Cultural norms can dictate behaviours and perceptions on many areas, such as gender roles in a marriage. What is a woman responsible for in a marriage? How does this differ from the responsibilities of a man? How are they similar? Are they ever shared?
Building on gender roles, when it comes to pursuing careers, what challenges does the Muslim community face when it comes to women wanting to pursue careers, but also being mothers? What role does a man play in this and how can this differ in marriages we see in the Muslim world?
These are just a few of many areas we hope to explore with this series of articles. As we are increasingly becoming a global village, this presents new challenges as well as opportunities for the Muslim community when it comes to marriage. As our environment evolves, we will also need different solutions to the problems that present themselves.
Topics such as those mentioned above, and many more will be covered in the series. We hope to shed some light on these areas of controversy, as well as bring in more insight from those who have the experience to provide effective life lessons and perspectives to help us tackle the many challenges that we face when it comes to marriage in the Muslim world.