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Author Topic: Why isn't the system working?  (Read 7553 times)

halfmydeen

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Why isn't the system working?
« on: Nov. 10, 2008, 11:59 AM »

What is wrong with our current systems of marriage? Is it working or why not?
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questfortherightone

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #1 on: Dec. 05, 2008, 04:20 AM »



whoh where did I land!?  Asssssalamu alaikum everyone around me and if there's no one -- then to halfmydeen people!

One of the many reasons why I started my own blog is precisely so I can try answering this question -- what went/is going wrong with our established systems of marriage. Not only that, but for sisters ESPESH --IALLY.  (I can spell, i promise).

See, for sisters things can get a bit more complicated. When she feels ready at any point in time for marriage, and at any age too, how does she proceed to find Mr. Muzlim right? What does she say?

really: " em assalamu alaikum there bro. I'm young, funny, a good muslimah which explains why i'm at this muslim conference here too, and I am looking to complete half my deen. I can cook and I think your mum will like me. Wanna talk about marriage?"  ---- reallyyyyy.

Then you hear about M Mats  (muslim matrimonials, online ones) and they're as hard to deal with as MCAtS or SATs!  -- i'd take these on anytime over M Mats!

How do you right up a profile about yourself -- cuz it won't cut it to say, i'm a nice girl, and i'm looking for a normal decent brother who prays and fasts and does all the islamic rituals.

Yes, that bubble won't fly as a profile -- so apparently we need to have some 'marketing' sense about ourselves too --- especially if we're 28. yes. the numba is 28.

I talk about all this on my new blogspot which i started for all sisters to TALK it OUT --
 www. questfortherightone.blogspot.com

Come visit me - and this is for all brothers and sisters. Not a groupy thing.

Salams!
QFTRO
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jannah

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #2 on: Dec. 05, 2008, 06:31 AM »

wsalaam,

i've seen some of those ads on those matrimonials and for real........ some marketing skills would really help those ppl LOL. But I think one of our main problems is that the social structures and foundations that exist in the traditional Muslim world that helped marry people are just not there for us anymore. In the Muslim world, you have a huge extended family which feel it's a duty to make sure you get married. So they work extra hard from when you are young to try to find a suitable marriage for you. Here like in the US, the families are very small and nuclear. They also might not feel it's their duty to find you someone. Also a lot of reverts and other types of people don't have access to families. There's also the auntie-network which works over there, but over here a lot of people get shut out of that. Then there are marriage bureaus in the Muslim world. I have yet to hear of a real one in any city? So if we don't have the social institutions it's obvious to see why things are failing for us :(
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Shahida

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #3 on: Dec. 05, 2008, 11:39 AM »

Salam alaikum

Jannah mentioned marriage bureaus, we have several of them over here.  The thing is, if you do not fall into the particular racial/ethnic(read:caste) or Islamic group (read: TJ, Sunni(an offshoot of the Indo-Pak Barelvi), etc), you are automatically excluded from these as well.  So if you DO belong to a group, it is MUCH easier to get married.  Makes sense...

The aunty-network has not worked for me and all of my still unmarried sisters/friends.  The precise reasons are complex, but major ones include: being over 25, and the aunties thinking that makes you eligible for anyone's divorced (with kids), or drug-dependent, unemployed brother or son. 

I do know LOTS if unmarried (never married) brothers, they just fall into categories of non-Islamic practice that makes them wholfully unsuitable as husbands to practicing Muslimas.

And forget getting married if you are not 100% Gujerati...even if some poor guy decides its worth it to marry you ( ??? despite the ethnic (read: caste) difference, you are in for a long and hard time with the in-laws and extended family).  Sisters of mixed ancestry (whatever that means!!! we are all sooooo South African by now that that should not matter) find it extra hard to get married.  Its pathetic.

Also, some sisters dont have any family (not only reverts)...cuz we are 3rd generation citizens, and have lost the ties to the *homeland*, etc...

May Allah swt make it easy for all of us.  I cant offer any solutions:(
Salam
S.
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jannah

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #4 on: Dec. 07, 2008, 07:43 AM »

I didn't know drugs was a problem among Muslims in SA. I know it's a big problem in the UK. Are the a lot of converts there? How do they get married?
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Shahida

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #5 on: Dec. 07, 2008, 09:14 AM »

Salam  alaikum

Yeah, unfortunately we do have problems with drugs... I suppose, because the Muslim community in general is quite well-off, they have excess wealth that they dont know how to spend...:(

We have loads of reverts, mashaAllah, usually they marry amongst themselves.  It is (to my knowledge) uncommon for born Muslims to marry reverts, unless (like in the US) they are white, blond, blue eyed etc.  Black new Muslims have a harder time, subhanAllah, and they make up most of the new Muslims.

I have to say, my revert friends have all married reverts themselves (one chinese sister, found a Chinese bro, mashaAllah, but she had to move across the country...) but most of them are still single.  The MAJOR problem, is that our Imams dont generally even speak to women, and do not stand as Wali for the new Muslimas.  We did have one really good Imam here, and he did a wonderful job, mashaAllah, but the community fired him, and had him deported!  :o   

In general once people have reverted, the support from the community varies from mostly apathy to very little support. May Allah swt help us!  It is easier if you are a member of the groups I mentioned earlier, as they tend to know who is new, male and female, and get them married off...

OK, enough from me for now
Salam
S.
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jannah

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #6 on: Dec. 08, 2008, 08:00 AM »

Walaikum salam,

I had a friend from SA I met in Shaam, who went to one of those "aalima" schools over there. She said that when she and her friends graduated (even before) they all had tons of proposals sight unseen. She herself had 11 proposals!! I mean she is cute and sweet but I couldn't believe it, but she said it's true. Apparently they think the girls that graduate are very religious and very home oriented. They wear niqab and learn how to cook and the families think they know how to be "obedient to their husbands". I guess it makes sense if that is what most guys are looking for! Anyway her sister got married but she thought it all odd and ran away to Shaam lol.

As for drugs, a friend from UK also in Shaam was telling me that they have to be so careful in rishtahs. One time this brother who had all appearances of  being very religious, long beard, thobes etc etc proposed from the North. But then they did some research and found out he was a drug addict! Scary.



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Shahida

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #7 on: Dec. 08, 2008, 01:04 PM »

Salam

well, I dont know about 11!  :)  But yeah, there are other reasons too (in that particular case, bros would be interested for other $$$ reasons as well  ;))

Most people, however, have the opinion that the "aalima" girls have been institutionalised, usually have some "problems" (hence the fact that their parents sent them away from home).... etc.  OR, and more commonly, they are afraid of those girls, becuz they are more aware of their rights (like it is not Fard for them to wash their husband's clothing, or look after the mother-in-law)...which girls who did not study would take as being part and parcel of the things they HAVE to do...

So it really depends...

But the majority of "religious" families, would prefer a girl who never went to school, wears niqaab, and "never left her father's sight".  One such girl married a neighbour, but lo and behold, never leaving your father's sight, doesnt mean you didnt have boyfriends on mixit, or surf porn on your cell phone! sub7anAllah.

I think we as a society have MAJOR problems.  In the next few years, the Muslim community will be facing increasing levels of illiteracy, not becuz of lack of money or opportunity, but becuz it is seen as reprehensible to learn to read or write...esp for girls! And this is the complete opposite of what happened with our parents' generation, when they were encouraged to seek knowledge and get an education.

Oh, man...its Eid, i shouldnt be pessimistic!

Eid Mubarak everyone
Salam
S.
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Jeremy

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #8 on: Dec. 09, 2008, 05:40 AM »

Going back to the original question, we know that the system is obviously not working, and this signals either a flaw in the system or in the way it is applied. I tend to believe the flaw is in the system and the way it was constructed over centuries. Jannah seems to wish there was an "auntie network" here just like back in Muslim countries, but I think that the auntie-network is precisely the problem. Muslims are expected to meet their future spouses through their parents or aunties, and any other avenue for people to meet will be fought and condemned by the guardians of the Muslim culture, be it parents, relatives, or religious figures.
I don't know when did our system of marriage start, but I can't find any referral to this system during the days of the prophet (pbuh). During those days, it wasn't a taboo for men and women to talk, even the knowledgeable scholars would say that it's not prohibited for men and women to talk, as long as each respects their boundaries. They did say however that it is prohibited for men and women to make joyful conversations (al-tabassot fi al-kalam). I think that this is how marriages started during the days of the prophet (pbuh), people knew each other because it wasn’t taboo for people of opposite genders to talk, and they were able therefore to make their own choices. I never heard about a companion's mother taking her son to meet potential "candidates". Men and women knew each other, and there was no need for any more introductions or intrusions from the parents.
Since childhood, Mulsim boys and girls are taught that talking to the other gender is haram, and that the only way they can know each other is through the family. I see that as another control mechanism that our control-hungry societies have developed to make sure that everything is run under the absolute power of the parents. I personally think that this was imported into our culture from the orthodox Jewish culture (that's just my personal opinion, no scientific research to back it up).
Going back to where I started, I think that the auntie network is the problem because it teaches us from the beginning that genders should be completely separated and that we should be totally dependant on “the network”, by the time we grow up and realize we are being fixed up with people we don't even know, it's already too late to seek any other avenue, and people either submit to the system getting married to someone they barely know, and living ever after, but not happily, or they rebel against the system falling in the temptations and mixing love with happy life and finally waking up when it is too late.
Waw, did I really write all of this?! Careful Carrie Bradshaw, you've got some competition..lol. if you made it to this line it means that you have super patience, you love reading, or probably have nothing better to do in life (maybe single?...hehe). I have to say though that I would be the first to say that my analysis may be totally up side down, but at least this is the way I see it. So please correct me if you think I am wrong.
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jannah

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #9 on: Dec. 10, 2008, 08:23 AM »

Jeremy what you're talking about is like... crazy talk.... revolution or something haha.... Impossible for the Muslim ummah. I mean when I was telling people about this site "AN INTERNET FORUM" a number of them freaked out that SINGLE MALES AND FEMALES would actually be able to talk to each other, thus causing massive "fitnah" and "munkar". I mean I was told "itaqAllah" and that they were warning me that playing with Allah wasn't a game. (oh really).  I was really quite shocked by this reaction, but I really shouldn't be.

I think over time our societies and people have become obsessed by oversexualization. We'd like to say that we have hijab and lower our gaze and blah blah, but something happened and people have this insane attitude of extremes. Everything's become so sexualized, no one can even have a normal conversation or even say salam how are u, how's the family or even work on committees together, MSAs, whatever. It's a serious, serious impediment to our progress as an Ummah. It's definitely an outside influence because it's never been part of Muslim culture at the time of the prophet/sahabah. Perhaps it came in from Persians/as we headed east where people practiced rigid "purdah". But whatever, agreed it's ridiculous, but I don't see it ending any time soon. Parents/fathers especially think they are "protecting" their daughters, husbands think the same, and to be honest I think a lot of Muslim guys get obsessed with the other gender/sex because they are forced by many factors to marry so late and this society is so love/sex centered. Then we have this thing where Muslim guys are normal at work or talking to other women and interacting but when it comes to Muslim sisters they refuse to speak/look at them even.

Again, it would take a revolution to change and I don't see that happening so I'm saying at least if we can develop some institutions to bridge this problem. The auntie network isn't the greatest but it works, so do mosque matrimonials or imam's taking on the job to match up congregants. I mean, something anything is better than nothing right??




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Jeremy

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #10 on: Dec. 12, 2008, 04:11 AM »

Well I wasn't trying to suggest solutions to the problems, I was rather trying to answer the question about why isn't the system working by giving out from my precious fountain of knowledge and wisdom... ;D... and I agree, it will take some time to change a mentality that has been around for centuries, too late for our generation  :'(, but hopefully future generations will be able to find a middle ground between western and Middle Eastern extremes. In the meanwhile, let's stick to the auntie network!
However, there may be some hope. We've all seen examples of community leaders trying to get young people together in a semi-monitored environment, something like an Islamic version of speed dating. That may be the most viable solution for now as far as I can see.
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Muslimah21

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #11 on: Jan. 18, 2009, 06:58 PM »

salaaam sisters


well i never went to a special school and i know alot about my rights as a women and as a wife and mother. and i dont know hardly any muslims i come from a part in the UK where its mostly atheist and christian. but i learnt alot from books and quran and hadiths all on my own.
i think the system is nto workign becuase people dont actually know what marriage in islam is about. even though we have the brilliant example of the prophet SAW people find it hard on what they should look for and what they shouldnt.
at the end of the day brothers why would you want to marry a sister who is cute but has no intelgence or doesnt know how to practic islam? perhaps its fien for you but what about your children would you want them to be raised by a mtoher who cant teach them islam becuase she doesnt know it herself?? and would you want them to see their mother beautify herself all day and teh daughters grow up liek her and the sons feel they need to marry soemoen like her?? why  on earth would you do that to your children??

people go onto these sites knowing they want to get married but dotn know what marriage is, and that it is in no way shape or form the way the kuffar practie marriage. divource is easily done, adultry is fine etc etc. for them its a game. but we know as muslims its very important and allah hates divource so we need to pick the right person and do things properly otherwise we do not have allahs blessings.
so first thing before people put up a profile on a site learn about marriage in islam, learn about your responsibilty as a parent and how you want your partner to be as a parent.
it would be nice if they had lectures from people who had sussecful marriage stories and sahred them with single people, emphisizing the right thing to do when looking to get married. thats a good idea dont you think?


jazakallah khier
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Eemo

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #12 on: Feb. 03, 2009, 12:49 AM »

Salaam,

By the way, if i can just interject. I wont impart my analysis, because its not radically different from whats already posted, but i will say, that ive been (so far) through every route you might be able to think of...

1. Looking online personally...
2. parents
3. matrimonial sites
4. The Auntie network
5. Facebook
6. Email lists

You name it. I havent tried the marriage networking events however. I just felt that was a little too open for my taste. Im quite reserved in that manner.

Secondly, for me, the Auntie Network was probably my worst experience. I dont know what ethnic backgrounds you all have, but my parents are Pakistani, and the mothers had a SERIOUS habit of exaggerating information about their daughters.

This is just my experience however, and im not saying its the same case for everyone.
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Eemo

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #13 on: Feb. 03, 2009, 12:54 AM »

I forgot to add.
Im culturally indifferent.

So, as already stated, Auntie Networks are tied down not just to specific ethnicities (as if that wasnt bad enough) but to specific castes often too.

Personally, although i was raised as a Pakistani, im not patriotic about that country at all (its As-sabiyyah after all). I'm therefore open to any race. Which the Auntie's cant cater for, and my parents dont agree with. Ultimately, while i dont want to upset my parents, i dont feel i should restrict myself to a Pakistani spouse.

We all know the ayah about the different races and colours so that we may be tested, and i think this is a core issue.
Just imagine how much ones network can expand by being open to ALL races.


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texaswonderer

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Re: Why isn't the system working?
« Reply #14 on: Feb. 07, 2009, 01:38 AM »

Salaams All!!!

This forum is fascinating and I'm quite interested to know that there are many others out there with a similar point of view.
I think you hit it on the head when you said that our networks would be so much more open if we could be open to other ethnic groups and races.  We are so 'normal' at work and school with non-muslims and then everything becomes stilted and false and formal in the presence of muslims.  It's a bit depressing.
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