Marriage is an important social institution which Islam sees as part of the perfection of the human character and personality.
It is a lifelong commitment sealed and bound by an honourable contract with God as its first witness. It brings with it deep meaningful and lasting responsibilities towards each other and the children God chooses to bless it with.
Preparation for such an important step therefore is vital particularly in Britain where marriage and family are being seriously challenged as the most important institutions for the care, services and security of all the individuals within it.
New Muslims who are already dealing with the stress and pressure from family owing to embracing Islam are often persuaded into this serious commitment of marriage before they are capable of dealing with it.
Occasionally converts to Islam can be carried along by a kind of euphoria surrounding this event and place too much reliance on others allowing them to make major judgments and decisions on their behalf.
It is important to be mindful and forward thinking when choosing a marriage partner. Those who possess a good Islamic character and personality are considered the best partners for marriage. They should be in a position to support and care for a wife by being in employment, be able to provide a home and appreciate and respect the family background and upbringing of their spouse particularly when the spouse is a convert to Islam.
Enquiry about a prospective marriage partner should take place through selected, reliable, caring representatives regarding the responsibility of that person, their character, attitude to work, money, the home, family etc. If there is satisfactory response, both parties should meet and discuss these issues in the presence of such representatives as often as is required for both parties to be happy and content that they are compatible and wish to proceed with the marriage.
A woman has full right to make her own decision regarding her choice of husband. This right cannot be taken away by anyone acting as her guardian, representative, relative or friend. Her decision and choice of marriage partner must be a decision taken freely without any coercion or pressure.
Consulting with one another, communicating concerns and addressing issues together as equals, respecting one another, expressing love and affection towards each other and compromising when things are difficult is the desired approach which should continue throughout the marriage and be the guiding principles in deciding family matters.
Tuesday 21st of May 2013