Thursday, June 4, 2015

Can a girl/boy choose her/his own partner?

Traditionally girls were the passive partners in such matches. The possibility of meeting, becoming acquainted with or familiarising oneself with the male partner-to-be was not widely available. It was left to families, who know one another in static immovable communities, to arrange such a proposal. Al-Islam has given each party the right to see the family setting. If they like one another, the match may go further and marriage preparation proceed.

One of the companions of the Prophet (SAW) told him one day that he proposed to a girl. The Prophet (SAW) said, "Have you seen her?" He said, "No". He said to him, "See her. For this would bless your marriage with success". The same is true as far as the girl is concerned. The messenger of Allah has given the girl the right to express her views on the proposed person. He said, "The permission of the virgin is to be sought. And if she does not object, her silence is her permission." As for the divorced or one who is widowed, no one has a say with her. 

That is, she has to express very clearly her desire in accepting or rejecting. This is the traditional old fashioned way. Nowadays girls go to school and proceed to universities. They meet with boys in classrooms, Islamic societies and at universities up and down the country. They get to know one another in a decent moral environment. They are mature, well educated, cultured and outspoken. These factors have to be taken into consideration. Once a decent, good mannered Islamicly committed young Muslim attracts the attention of a like minded Muslimah, their parents have to be reasonable. Of course, they are interested in the happiness and success of the marriage of their son or daughter, but they have to realise that they are not buying or selling commodities. Their care, compassion and love for their children should not make them extra protective or act as a barrier between their children and their children's future. In the words of the hadith "If a person with satisfying religious attitude comes to seek your daughter in marriage, accept that. If you do not, there will be great mischief on earth and a great trouble." At the same time young people who are blessed with education have to show patience, understanding and should argue their case in a rational and respectable manner.

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