Marriage

Just like they won’t include “how much money did you make?” or “what kind of grades did you get in school?” the three questions that each and every person will be asked in the grave will not include “did you get married, in the dunya?” No-only; “Who is your Lord? What is your religion? And; who is your prophet?” As much as some would like there to be a fourth question inquiring about marital status, justifying their desires and (more precisely) their irrational obsessions to get married, there won’t be. (Concerning the absence of a question about marital status by the two angel-questioners, and how that should ease the minds of any marriage fanatics out there, I know that one can argue that “were you kind to your mother?” or “did you pay zakah?” also won’t be asked of us in the grave, and as such, the absence of an inquiry about marital status doesn’t indicate that marriage is an easy-come-easy-go issue. However, the aforementioned types of questions are part of the question “what is your religion,” essentially. If our religion is really Islam, we, by necessity, are  kind to our mothers, pay zakah, etc. And other kinds of questions probably fall within the parameters of the other two answers to the original three inquiries. But marriage is different from the compulsory acts of being kind to our mothers and paying zakat…and it is not, in fact, obligatory.)

Don’t get me wrong-I could never argue that marriage is not an encouraged institution in Islam;”And among His signs is this; that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them. And He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect,” (Noble Quran 30:21). Being safeguarded from fitnah and having a supportive spouse and family around you are benefits of marriage that cannot be contended with. And marriage is a sunnah of our prophet and role model (Muhammad, peace be upon him). But what about people  who are advanced in years, and not married? Is the encouragement in Islam to be married a cause for such individuals to be distressed, despondent, and miserable? Or should our unmarried late 20-year-olds and their seniors say “alhamdulillah, 3la kuli haal (praise be to Allah, in every situation)?” I think the latter…

What I really want to say to my sister in Islam who encounters that old auntie (the one that everyone dreads to run into) and receives the expression; “28! And not married? What are you waiting for, my dear?” to believe in her heart of hearts the answer she should give; “No. But at least (alhamdulillah), I’m Muslim, and-alhamdulillah-I’m happy….”

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