Mar 5, 2010 - for muslim guys    3 Comments

Age the x factor in marriage?

A good friend of mine once got rejected by a guy because she was one year older than he was. Turns out she wasn’t but that was the original reason. Not sure why it didn’t work out after he found out??.. but anyways this brings me to the point of this post. What is it with desis and age? They’re like obsessive about marrying someone younger than them (the guys I mean.) And I’m not talking like a lot of years even…like even a year or two (or even months!) is horrifying to them. Sometimes guys give the reason that they’re looking for someone more fertile like in case they have kids. Ummm last I looked women were having kids at 40+ and again I’m not talking about huge age difference but the year or two or even around 5 of their own age. Does it make that big a difference? And the weirdest thing is that as guys get older they want even younger women. Guys who are 30 want to marry 20 year olds… guys who are 50 want to marry 30 year olds. Uhhhhhhhm strange (or gross really).  Is it because they want to feel young again? Is it because they want to feel like they are smarter, more experienced, more wise? Do they feel like they can mold a younger woman more easily or that she’ll most likely be more submissive? Do they feel like a younger wife will take care of them in old age or that it’s just the natural way of things that should be upheld? No idea.

Doesn’t seem like compatibility is any type of an issue here though. Every study says the closer in age people are, the more alike they are, the more compatible they are. In fact, desis seem to look for a whole host of things that have nothing to do with compatibility, like skin color…shade of skin color, a certain type of “beauty” look (don’t get me started on this), ancestral background,  even… parent’s jobs.  No joke, I had a guy (extremely religious) tell me straight up he wanted to marry a girl who was the daughter of an engineer, being one himself. OK. I’m sure this will ensure your domestic bliss. Again, I thought guys were rational beings, but maybe I was wrong ;)

Anyways I found this site the other day (and NO I haven’t resorted to online dating (yet)(just kidding!) (but no) I think I was actually looking for some kind of Hadith the words ‘Allah and love’ in it if that isn’t ironic enough… but it had some extremelyyyyy interesting data on it.

For the relevance of this post see: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/2010/02/16/the-case-for-an-older-woman/

and check out their older posts on various ideas and statistics. Very, very interesting… especially for single people. I wonder how this compares to Muslims but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same. I wish Muslims would put together statistics like this. It would be interesting to see how many single sisters there are out there due to guys marrying overseas/non-Muslims/age-cultural restrictions. There’s no doubt the ‘fish in the sea’ ocean is wayyy huger for Muslim guys in the west than it is for Muslim women. I used to be troubled when I heard of a sister who married a non-Muslim or someone who “converted in name only” but I don’t know anymore. Obviously it’s wrong, but what exactly is she supposed to do when the cards are totally stacked against her and her ocean is the size of…her kitchen sink. Love and wanting to be with someone is an intrinsic part of our nature that Allah put inside of us. Unless there is some major reform or education this trend will only increase.

It’s interesting that Muslim society finds Muslim guys marrying non-Muslims or marrying someone 20 years younger than them quite acceptable, but not certain other differences like someone a few years older than them or a different ethnicity. And it’s also interesting that finding partners for sisters is not seen as a problem, they are just labeled as “picky” and of course condemned if she goes any route not sanctioned by them.

So what’s the point of this post again?! It’s to point out to Muslim guys that there are a lot of real benefits in breaking the mold a bit and marrying someone that might be a little older, a different ethnicity, someone not perfect. Free yourself from culture and find someone who is good, regardless of society’s strictures. Ok the end. ;)

3 Comments

  • Assalamu alaikum

    I do want to get you started. What is the certain type of “beauty” look that desis are into?

  • *Takes deep breath* There you go again Sis Jannah, lol! Haha, Joking aside – yes even I don’t know why men in desi-land desire young wives – at least the ones that are 10 or more years younger than them. It seems very selfish in biologcial terms – while she may be able to have many children – is there any guarantee he will be around to even play with them when they reach 10 years old? Of course, only Allah Knows who will “go” first, but even so, Allah Forbid, if something happens to the mother, that would seem to be an even worse position. Anyways, sorry to start off with such morbid talk.
    When I was younger, my father told me a few things about marriage, once I was old enough to talk about such tings: 1) Marry at age 25; well, that didn’t happen and I know he said this because that is when our Beloved Prophet was first married to Hz. Khadijah (RA). Still, I think that is a good goal, so that you keep trying in the years that follow. 2) Marry a Allah-Fearing woman and the other things will fall into place; again, that statement is rooted in that well-known hadith. 3) The girl should be a few years younger than you; I took this to be about 3 years maximum, but he never gave me a number. Now that I’ve had a chance to mature and grow up, though in his absence, through my own life experience, I’ve come to my own conclusions. While I agree of course, with marrying a woman of good Imaan, as far as the age thing goes, ideally it would be nice to marry someone who is just slightly younger, but as you said Sis Jannah, equal age is also fine and if the girl happens to be a year or two older, no big deal I think. Also, to add to the “marry a woman for her Deen” I have come up with “marrying for respect” – meaning, I want to be able to respect that person and if she can do the same, in regards to who we both are at the time, then hey, that seems like a much needed mutual feeling as well.
    Yet, I guess I shouldn’t speak to soon, as only Allah knows what I will end up doing! It’s true, that our parents generation is too obsessed with looks, skin color and the like. I was just in London as some of you know and my khala, when commenting on girls, whether those in the family or otherwise, only comments on their looks or their job. Never once do I hear whether they think she is a good/practicing Muslim or not. Never! Not just her, but others from my parents generation. Is it because, that is what they experienced – that they were judged by their looks? It’s quite sad when you think about it. I mean, what does any of that have to do with if your child and the potential spouse will be a good fit or that they will lead each other in the right direction in life, with the proper principles and values when difficult times arise and thus, where they end up in the Hereafter?
    Despite saying this, I know it’s easier said than done and again, who knows when each of our turns come, if we will do the right thing or at least what we say we will do when that time arrives. ‘
    Something I just remembered after re-reading the last line there Sr. Jannah; while I was in England, I was watching the Islam Channel and Brother Dash, an American Muslims poet and performer was doing an interview on a show called Brothers in the Deen. My khala made a comment about how black people are very loud people (not meant to offend anyone). She then said, “Would you marry or allow your kids to marry a black person?” Before telling you my response, I have been brought up and even now, think of course, it would be nice to marry someone who is either Indian or Pakistani, speaks Urdu or at least, is aware of the POSITIVE things that our desi culture brings to the big picture, but now that I’m getting older and learning more – I do realize that maybe I could also break that mold you speak of Sis. So, in response to my khala, I said, “Yes, if they have good values, practicing Muslim, I would” and I said this without hesitation. I added, “Muslim is Muslim, that’s all that matters” My khala said, “Oh ok, it doesn’t matter to you, but I would never want my son (who is a doctor) to marry a black or Hispanic woman.” It’s funny, because she always talk about how many girls’ mum’s are calling, asking on their daughters’ behalf, to marry him. Yet, she is implying, that if all the girls were non-desi, she wouldn’t consider it. Wonder what would happen if he was willing to do that (that’s whole ‘nother story though!). I am already seeing, though social networks and articles, that Muslims are marrying cross-culturally and ma’sha’allah, while they are putting their Deen first, they do have to deal with parents that are hesitant to let their daughters or sons marry someone from a culture they are not accustomed to, or in the US, we are seeing so many new Sisters, who were born and brought up in the US, so in most cases, one can imagine, their potential spouses are not their male counterparts, but rather, desi men (several blogs I’ve come across of Caucasian women married to Pakistani men)! I know one such convert in my home state of Oregon, who married an Egyptian – while this Sister is still learning, I know that the principles of Islam are guiding them through the initial difficulties and other issues, such as immigration status, and that this is what will always hold them together insha’allah.
    In closing, I can’t really say if I will be part of the new generation that breaks through the mold of marrying a somewhat predetermined type of spouse, but I would like to think that those of us who are still single, and the upcoming future generation that are close behind, will be a part of the movement that will at least begin to bring back the simple idea that we should marry for something greater than skin color, beauty, and occupation – and that we can pass this on to our own children insha’allah.

    Well, those are my thoughts, I think I was all over the place, but I just wrote what came to mind. After hearing from others, will probably comment further! :-)

  • Salaam,

    Wow MA great article, couldn’t have put your points better myself.
    The biggest irony is that the Prophet Muhammad’s S.A.W wife Khadija R.A was older than him, and richer and more successful. This is the example of the perfect muslim? And why then are age and all these trivial things looked at?
    Culture is often a huge contamination for religion, and it’s sad people follow culture more than religion these days and especially with the most important things such as marriage. Also, it’s often hard to reach out to and change the minds of the people entrenched in backwards culture, concerning marriage.