Prince Charming here, but I’m not an M.D.


By Sondos Kholoki-Kahf, Staff Writer InFocus Magazine

“Sunni Arab Muslim parents invite correspondence for their daughter, 23, beautiful, very fair skinned, slim, educated, religious. Prefer doctor/surgeon/dentist/MD resident. Non-physicians need not apply; lawyers OK. Send picture and resume to CaliforniaGirl@marriage.com.”

Faced with outrageous matrimonial requests like these, Jamal* believes he stands no chance in his mission to find a wife.

At 24, Jamal has already met two girls he thinks could have been “the one.” The first candidate’s parents refused Jamal’s request because they thought he was too young. From there, Jamal hesitated to approach the second girl because he only had a bachelor’s degree and had yet to find a job. That girl was married to someone else shortly thereafter.

“What those [experiences] did is give me a negative way of looking at myself,” Jamal reflects. “Now the first thing I think when I see a pretty girl is, ‘Man, I can’t talk to her. I’m sure her parents have some engineer or doctor picked out for her,’” Jamal says.

Now working a steady job in the IT field, Jamal keeps a wary eye out for a potential wife. Although he feels disenchanted by the worldly demands of most parents, Jamal insists that marriage will protect him from haram (unlawful acts).

“It’s very hard for young men to not dive into dating when it’s so much more accessible and easy to do,” he says. “We’re expected to live like monks, and not everyone can do that. I believe that if it’s this difficult to get married [now], then our kids and their kids are just going to give up on the whole thing and have relationships western style.”

Working hard for the money?

Most scholars agree that if a man exhibits good moral character and religious practice, he should be accepted for marriage despite his current income, as stated in a hadith sahih (saying of the Prophet). Yet many scholars also warn against using marriage for selfish reasons.

Dr. Mazen Hashem, sociologist and researcher on Muslim communities in North America, advises youth to view marriage as a heavy commitment, “not extended dating.”

“If you view marriage as just having sex in a halal way, this is not a good enough reason [to get married,.” Hashem says,

Ammar Kahf, a PhD candidate in Islamic Studies at UCLA and assistant imam at the Islamic Center of Hawthorne, agrees that the need to quench physical desires is not enough for marriage.

“The Prophet directed another hadith to men, that if a man does not possess the bare minimum to get married — financially, socially, physically, and emotionally — then they should fast,” Kahf states. Fasting is a well-known technique to control one’s patience and physical desires.

Nevertheless, Hashem believes it is unrealistic for parents to expect a young man to be financially stable straight out of college, and that parents should look to the individual’s drive and potential instead.

“If a guy is just strolling in life, doesn’t know yet what to do and is still young, he is not ready to get married,” he says.

Accordingly, young men seriously studying journalism, education, and non-profit administration should have just as good of a chance of marrying from a respectable family as a medical student.

Imam Suhaib Webb, a scholar with the Santa Clara chapter of the Muslim American Society who is admired by many young American Muslims, is sympathetic towards this issue but offers realistic advice. “Today’s sexual explosion is very frustrating, especially for single young brothers,” Webb says. “Physical needs are an important part of marriage, but at the same time, next to physical needs come the bills. Sisters have the right to ensure that her future husband will be able to look after her and her children’s needs.”

For those college students who have a solid idea of where they would like to end up in five years and possess good faith and moral character, but are still refused on the basis of their career path, Kahf believes that the implications will be devastating.

“I strongly believe that fathers doing this are committing a major sin,” Kahf warns. “As the Prophet described it, it will be a fitna — a huge social problem that will never end.”

Hi, my name is…

Tarek*,23, has been searching for a wife since his first year in college. With his parents’ full support and a steady job under his belt, Tarek began meeting girls through relatives, friends, and online. None proved a match.

A few years ago, Tarek was perusing material in a masjid bookstore and saw a girl there he thought could be a potential candidate.

“She seemed to be waiting around the place almost as if she wanted me to say something, but I just didn’t know how to approach her,” Tarek recalls. “Was she interested, or was it just my imagination? I didn’t want to make it seem like I was hitting on her because it would probably turn her off. It was mind-boggling and disappointing because I didn’t know what to do.”

Truly, Muslim men and women — especially those in the West — are missing opportunities to get to know one another in informal, yet religiously acceptable forums. With unplanned socializing out of the question, youth are scrambling for an alternative that will allow for careful interaction between genders. Often times, men and women are completely separated to the point where they find it awkward to interact on a basic social level.

“We in southern California pride ourselves on our big Muslim community, but young singles don’t interact much,” Tarek said. “Isn’t it strange that one friend of mine got married to a girl from Canada, and the other got married to a girl from the UK?”

Kahf acknowledges the absence of a social forum in current times.

“Traditionally, there was a forum facilitated through mothers, sisters, cousins, friends of the family, and was conducted in a healthy environment,” Kahf says. “Many men here don’t have such connections. Even a young college student who attends the MSA or a masjid once a week still does not find a healthy medium to find the potential wife.”

Amazingly, one of the biggest complaints among Muslim women and men is finding quality within the quantity of available candidates for marriage. As one anonymous Muslim male puts it, “Lots of times I felt like there were too few sisters to marry. The same four or five sisters would get recommended to me all the time. Sisters complain there are too few brothers, but I know so many brothers who want to get married. There are a lot of good sisters and brothers out there, but for whatever reason they’re not connecting.”

The lack of a social forum may be the biggest hurdle Muslims in America have to jump. Webb places the bulk of the responsibility of creating a forum on the current generation.

“I’m not thinking about finding a wife; your generation is living that narrative,” Webb says. “Come up with ideas on how to find a spouse, and then ask community leaders, ‘Can we do this?’ These things need to be covered by the younger community, but with guidance from pastoral scholarly figures.”

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match

With all the challenges facing young men and women in their pursuit of a spouse, Nasreen Khan of Irvine understands the sheer importance of her role. Khan has been serving as a matchmaker for the Muslim community for more than 30 years

“There are girls and boys who may be suitable for each other, but they may not be aware so ‘someone’ has to introduce them,” she says.

Fielding an average of four to five calls a month, Khan sees a trend among parents’ requests: “Most parents want doctors, engineers, lawyers or computer experts who have very high incomes,” Khan says. “The girls mostly want someone tall, handsome, good looking, or guys with charisma.”

Khan is also dismayed at the worldly attitude towards marriage. In her experience, parents are the ones demanding more, thereby limiting the already waning spousal pool for their children. For example, according to Khan, about 90% of parents want their daughters to marry within the same culture, even though the girls themselves hardly care where the young man comes from.

In addition to maintaining that a potential spouse come from the same culture, parents make the process of finding a mate difficult for their children by “having extremely high worldly standards, not giving importance to religion and character, not willing to marry their children until they complete college, and refusing to accept the choice of their children,” says Khan.

Khan estimates that 10% of couples she introduced to each other resulted in marriage. While that may seem like a small number, Khan reveals that many men and women reject proposals based on astonishingly trivial matters. For example, one girl refused an otherwise wonderful proposal because the boy was not tall enough. In another instance, a boy’s mother refused a girl because her complexion was too dark.

“Most people perceive marriage to be just a social obligation rather than a religious one,” Khan says. “I feel that our girls and boys, as well as their parents, need to be more aware and educated about the status of marriage in Islam, and take it seriously.”

The long road ahead

Webb emphasizes that after identifying the problem, the Muslim community must make a joint effort to move into the solution phase.

“Our community has become indicters instead of inviters,” he says. “If you look at any problem in the life of the Prophet, there was always a communal solution to a problem. We need to function in that way of a support group.”

“Rhetoric has to be created by active people in our communities,” Webb continues. “We can’t give one khutbah or speech and expect a solution. We need opportunities like workshops or town halls that, for example, enlighten parents how difficult it is to get married.”

Little doubt remains that many “good” Muslim men and women exist, but the obstacles involved in finding Mr. or Mrs. Right currently seem insurmountable. Between pressure to marry within a specific nationality and parents who require their future son-in-law to have a certain salary, Muslims — especially American Muslims — face a long road ahead.

* Names have been changed.

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22 Comments

  1. I disagree with alot of what is said in article. I am tired of reading articles that have no solution but describe the problem. Where is the solution? So depressing…

  2. Zubair says:

    The solution has to be formulated at the local community level. There can’t exist one solution that will be applicable to all of the Muslim communities across the US. We need to raise awareness of this issue starting with ourselves, then our families, then our local communities. That’s the only way change can be brought about, if everyone who is reading this makes a determined effort to tackle this issue within their immediate families, then their local communities.

  3. Abdellatif says:

    I must say that a problem this large can’t have a single answer.

    There are different situations for different people. Take a family whose children meet their spouses while away studying at university. Or another whose children meet their spouses via an acquaintance or at a local mosque.

    Certain communities organize functions for those interested in meeting others for marriage. So yes, if the intent is to meet someone, those in a community with children in such a situation will look to organize such events.

    My point is the list is almost endless. Like anything in life worthwhile, it just won’t happen on its own.

    How it happened during the Prophet’s (PBUH) time doesn’t really matter here; just like how it happens back home in Egypt or any other Moslem country doesn’t matter here. We need to focus on our own communities and decide what would work in each one of them. Each community is unique and will require its own answer to this problem. What would work in NYC would certainly not work in any city in Maine for example. We must not forget that this is not a Moslem country so let’s not look at what works in a Moslem country or time-period and try to apply it here and now.

    I’m not totally blind to the fact that certain answers will work in multiple situations, but since I truly believe that multiple solutions are required for this problem, some solutions will be unique to certain communities.

  4. shakib says:

    i enjoyed the article, having been married for 5 years to somebody who is not from my culture, i should say, i would have been horribly dissapointed like musafirfidunya if i left the solutions to come from either the imam or my parents. suhaib said it right, that we need to have a solution oriented approach to problems not lip-service. and it starts with some neck-risking, whether it is by trying a lame pick-up line in a book store or picking up enough courage to ask the imam for his daughter :)

  5. Ijtema says:

    Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah
    I pray that you are in the best of health & imaan.
    This is a short message to notify you that this entry has been selected for publishing on IJTEMA.net, a venture to highlight the best of the Muslim blogosphere, a venture to highlight the best of the Muslim blogosphere. Please visit the site to find out more about our initiative.
    May Allah bless you for your noble efforts.
    Wa’salam

  6. jannah says:

    Great article ma’shaAllah. I don’t know what the “solution” is either, but I think if we can identify the problems we can at least start somewhere. Problem: Too many parents with materialistic pre-requisites. Problem: Sisters with unrealistic expectations. Problem: Brothers with shallow requirements. And so on. Perhaps if we get all the problems out there and recognizable then we can try to address them one by one.

    And making people aware of the problem does help a lot. If Imams realize how big a problem it is they might try to do more in their community to help singles. Same as married friends for their single friends and so on.

  7. J says:

    I think that sometimes young Muslim guys abuse Islam by justifying their laziness and lack of initiative in life by blaming women (and their parents) for wanting a doctor, dentist, etc.

    Yes, in the Prophet’s time, it was true that income had nothing to do with personality. If you were born poor, you’d most likely be poor your whole life. But this is no longer the case today. In America, you can become rich if you work hard at school. I know of a migrant Mexican worker who worked his way up the ladder and today is a top neurosurgeon at Harvard.

    It is no longer the case that career (and wealth) has nothing to do with good character. Yes, the Prophet [s] said to marry those who are pious and have good character. But nowadays, career (and subsequent financial stability) is impacted in large part by character. If you are hard-working, you will have financial security. If you are a bum, you won’t.

    Yes, I agree that if you have a hard-working journalism student, then he shouldn’t be penalized for having less pay than a medical school grad. BUT at the same time, lazy brothers (and we have TOO many of them nowadays) shouldn’t justify their laziness by claiming that piety and good character are all that matter. A part of good character is being hard-working.

    So I think there should be compromise. Women (and their parents) should look for excellence in young men…so whatever career they pick, the young men should excel in that particular field. The fact that a brother busted his butt off in medical school shows that he has MANY qualities, including being hardworking, consistent, responsible, mature, etc. Whereas a bum who failed out of community college displays many faults in his character. On the other hand, if you have a brother who has a passion for journalism (or some other low paying field), a woman should not judge him badly for this, so long as he excels at what he does and he is a hardworker.

    I’ve been through medical school, and I’m now considered pretty high up there on the ristha ladder, just due to this. I don’t think this is undeserved. I busted my hump off for many years, unlike most of the brothers in my community who were lazy butts.

    Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi had an excellent speech on this topic recently…he was talking about how Muslims should EXCEL in whatever they do…this is a part of our religion. Some brothers nowadays fool themselves into thinking that school (secular studies) has nothing to do with deen. WRONG! We must excel in everything we do, and academics is the road to success. Muslims can’t ever excel if we don’t produce the top scientists, researchers, etc.

  8. Sam says:

    To J, the Doctor,

    “I’ve been through medical school, and I’m now considered pretty high up there on the ristha ladder, just due to this. I don’t think this is undeserved.”

    Wow, such humility…

    I think you will be happier in your life if you came back down to earth, otherwise you might find yourself prescribing prosac to yourself in the future.

  9. Anonymous says:

    J, I’m very offended by what you wrote. I’m in a field I consider far more intellectually demanding than medicine and yet, I know that when I finally graduate I will be paid a lot less than a doctor. Most people, by default, are not rich, since a ‘wealthy’ person necessarily has above average income, regardless of the standards of living in his particular society. Most people will never earn as much as a doctor (simply because they never studied medicine) regardless of how hard they work.

    And people are definitely being unreasonable by demanding only doctors and dentists- and often they do so without caring about deen.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “It is no longer the case that career (and wealth) has nothing to do with good character.”

    W’Allahi you are calling to a belief I find absolutely repellant- it’s as if you imply that the poor necessarily have a bad character (most scholars are poor) and that the rich do not, which is ridiculous. There are pious pepole, rich and poor, with low-paying jobs and high-paying ones. And how many people make their millions in haram money? How many imams have to take second jobs?

    Imam ash-Shaf’i and others said that anbody who pursued hadith and its sciences would become poor. Do you object to the character of those people? Are people lazy simply because they don’t earn much? Suhaib, this makes me *so* angry!

  11. J says:

    As-Salam Alaykum Brother Sam,

    I completely see how my post can come across as arrogant. I did not mean it to come across that way. I did not mean to imply that I am a big hot shot. Rather, I merely wanted to convey the idea that you put in X amount of work, and you get Y amount of reward. That is all I meant.

    I was merely stating a fact. If you work hard and excel at studies, you get many rishtas, even if your face is as ugly as a babboon. Call it revenge of the nerds, if you will.

    To Bro/Sis Anonymous:

    I am sorry you were offended by what I said, but I think you really should have read what I said more intently. I don’t know what field you are in, but let’s say you are in a research field. Research is a very intellectually demanding career, but the pay is low. Did I say that a doctor should be considered higher than a researcher? No! Rather, I simply said that lazy bums shouldn’t use Islam to justify their laziness. I see so many lazy bum brothers who whine about how they can’t get rishtas since the women are so superficial and want guys with degrees. These bums are NOT like you. They don’t excel in their fields.

    Yes, there are people who choose low paying fields because they excel in them. And hats off to those people. They too, in my opinion, should be high on the rishta scale. So if you are a journalism student, or a humanities student, then you should still be appreciated for what you do, so long as you are doing it because you excel in it.

    However, we all know that 90% of the people who go into such fields do them because they are easy. They didn’t want to put in the effort to do a more demanding field, like law, medicine, dentistry, etc.

    What I mean to say only is that a man’s education and career should play some role in the rishta process, insomuch as it tells about his character. It will show if he is hardworking, responsible, etc.

    So please reread what I wrote, because it does not go against what you said!

  12. Sahar says:

    I am very much understand this position that these wordly stndard that based on financial and social status makes the in fluensed people so much irresponsible that they does not feel the need of these people that need s their help especially when they are out from their home countries where they can not mentain same social and economic level.poeple conscious or unconsciously eleminates them from their regular connection even Eid or Iftar that not only makig them isolate but also putting them in a situation where they are more at the risk of being sin ful.In this Amerixcan society it is very hard for the people who are single to be tempted to be in a relation ship. for some reason this situation is become worse when you are single parent especially to be a single mother is nuisense.I try to check with the localimam or social worker but they do not want to take the iniciative about this .i wish they will undertand by doing this they are trie to make so hard this deen for singles.
    Money is very imprtant for bills but if she is happy as married couple than she can live in a 800.00 dollars home. She does not need to be in 2000.00 house but unhappy.for me if you are not good in deen and stable in dunyathan no matter how big is your degree but your daughter will suffer as much he has money and degreee.

  13. AZ says:

    J,

    First, the neurosurgeon works at Hopkins.

    Secondly, just because you are in medical school doesn’t make you special. There are many families that will bend over backwards for a doctor, but that doesn’t mean it’s justified. I am a medical student as well. You can’t say that the status we get is deserved. Bro, I’ve been through the 15+ hour days. I’ve gotten chewed out by attendings. It still doesn’t legitimize the disproportionate leverage that we get in “rishtas”.

    Anonymous, you can’t talk about your field and say that it is more “intellectually demanding” than medicine. You have no authority to make that decision until you have worked as a doctor and understood what they go through. Likewise, no one in medicine has the right to say that their field is more “intellectual” than yours.

    Overall, J brought up some interesting points. I have noticed many brothers who “concentrate on the deen” and put education as a second priority. Islam and education go hand in hand as one complements the other with a pure intention. Islam tells you to acquire knowledge and likewise knowledge will help you understand some of Allah’s signs better.

    I agree with J that you should be the best at what you do, regardless of what field you enter. J is also right in the sense that as long as you work hard and are committed to what you do, you shouldn’t be poor.

    Sure it’s unfair what parents are doing, but it’s also understandable. I would want my daughter to marry someone with good earning potential. Sometime doctors compromise their deen to get where they are. Missed prayers, missed Jumahs, etc. Be weary of them as well.

    Sisters please understand that quality time is far more valuable than money. Marry someone who will spend time with you and your kids and can support you in a manner that is suitable in Islam (modesty). Do not fall for a physician who works 80hrs then lacks the emotional and physical capacity to serve his family afterwards. Wake up and stop dreaming as if life was bollywood. Seriously.

  14. J says:

    Anonymous said:

    “W’Allahi you are calling to a belief I find absolutely repellant- it’s as if you imply that the poor necessarily have a bad character (most scholars are poor) and that the rich do not, which is ridiculous.”

    I sincerely urge you all to carefully read what I said. It seems like your emotions get the best of you so you are no longer able to understand what is being said.

    Yes, the scholars may be poor, but are they lazy? No! They are very hardworking. Argh, it’s frustrating that people have such poor reading comprehension skills.

    *All* I said was that the fact that someone finishes medical school is a reflection of his character, i.e. hardworking, responsible, etc. Therefore, it would not be inappropriate for a woman (and her family) to look at this as a big plus–not because of the money he will get, but because of the hard work he put in to get there.

    Meanwhile, we have many lazy bum brothers who don’t work hard and end up studying bumble-bee dancing as a major…then they whine how women (and their families) look down on them for that. *This* is what I am criticizing.

    To conclude the matter, I think it makes sense for people to judge someone on how hardworking they are, not based on their money (since some people are rich without putting any work in it). Therefore, based on this principle, a person who goes through medical school and residency should of course have an edge. Similarly, a person who goes through a top law school and excels at what he does should definitely have an advantage over a lazy bum who couldn’t get a degree due to his laziness.

    Yes, if someone is poor due to no fault of his own–or because he has made a sacrifice to excel in something else (such as religious studies)–then we shouldn’t look down on that, but rather we should respect how hard he works. However, if someone is a lazy bum brother whining, then I think such a person should not justify his laziness using Islam. It reminds me of how some extremists in UK justify their laziness by saying that taking welfare from the ‘dirty kufaar’ weakens them. It’s abusing religion to justify one’s own laziness.

    I want Muslim youth to excel. We should excel like the Jews excel in studies, be it medicine, engineering, law, history, humanities, religious studies, etc. Be at the top of your class!

    I think people should carefully read what I said, instead of jumping to conclusions.

    May Allah [swt] unite our hearts on the Siratul Mustaqeem.

  15. Miriam says:

    The Prophet Mohammed, may ALLAH’s peace and blessings be upon him said:

    The rich one is he who has a strong faith (Iman) and struggles to obtain a strong relationship with ALLAH the most HIGH, and poor is he who lives his life according to worldly needs and follows the path of shaytan (iblis). (May ALLAH protect us)

    May ALLAH make us of this who will enter Jannah with our beloved prophet Mohammed salla ALLAHO alaihi wasallam.

    Wa ALLAHU lmosta3an.

  16. jm says:

    Asalamu-aleikum. It seems that many wish to change to world instead of changing themselves. We blame parents, the mosque, the imams, the girls, the boys…instead of focusing on ourselves and our own lack of faith, our own materialism, our own superficial requirements. The answer is, and always has been, the teachings of Islam and the prophet, pbuh. We now need scholars and community leaders imbedded in the western context to help guide young people to each other in ways that are appropriate and relevant. And the young folks, once guided to each other, must rise to the occasion with faith, maturity and integrity. Yes, work needs to be done institutionally. Mixing? Young women and young men have been “mixing” as long as history itself. The false separation that is supported by scholars from far-away lands merely exacerbates the false expectations young people have for one another. Young men and women need to get to know one another, and by doing so, one’s status as a doc or a “hottie” or a this or that, will matter much, much less.

    Lastly, have we all forgotten that throughout history, young men and women got married and then worked together to make a life for themselves? Is is really necessary for a man to be established with a bank account and a career before he asks a young woman to take his hand and help him to build their dreams together? Faith, dreams, love, goals…together. Contrast this to the shameful ads in the muslim magazines by ridiculous parents….where marriage is nothing more than a transaction, a swap of beauty for wealth and status. May Allah help us all.

  17. Bzz says:

    Bah, why is the impetus on financial repsonsibility so one-sided. Geez, how about motivating women to aspire to be more than just a dependent spouse through marriage. And maybe those that are shallow and condesencding (i.e the girl who wanted a taller guy and the guy who wanted a lighter girl) deserve to struggle in their search- if you can’t be open minded and progressive as an adult then you are not ready for a lifetime of compromise and partnership- i.e marriage.

  18. Hmm says:

    Bzz, the husband is responsible for providing for the wife and children according to Islamic law. The wife is not responsible for earning money to support the family, although we are talking about basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, etc. Unfortunately a lot of brothers don’t understand that they are required to provide for their families, and a lot of sisters think that they are entitled to a large house or apartment, expensive furniture, shopping sprees, brand-name clothing, etc.

    • kiikkz says:

      i don’t think we can impose parts of islamic law in a society that is not structured to allow for the expression of this law; just like you can’t go stone someone for zina, here in a non-sharia society! and it’s questionable as to whether they would even deserve that, given that society aroudn them does not support a person to abide by that law…likewise, the way our societies, even in muslim countries, are structured dose not support the idea of a single income home. if we lived back before WW2 that might have been possible. today, not so much. so unless the wife is okay with eating a very simple meal and wearing 2nd hand clothing, it’s likely she will need to get up and work too. i don’t see anything wrong with this. don’t pick and choose parts of “Islamic law” to impose in a totally different context then tehy were meant to be exprssed in! stop overburdening men with demands. try to be understanding and loving!

  19. Ninveh says:

    “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”

    Marriage should consist of: love, honor, respect & appreciation.
    Love- The love for God, the love for your husband/wife, the love for your family.
    Honor- Honor God, honor your husband/wife, honor your family.
    Respect- Respect your religion, respect your husband/wife, respect your family.
    Appreciate- Appreciate your life, appreciate God and your deen, appreciate your husband/wife, appreciate your family.

    Whether your husband works as an executive in a company or a plumber, you should appreciate him, love him, respect him and honor him. That is what it means to be a wife.

    The Eastern cultures care too much about looks, status and money. It’s a shame…

  20. ALP says:

    I find it unfortunate that many Muslim brothers and sisters adhere to such rigid standards that often serve the practical side of marriage (finances, status, etc.) at the expense of the spiritual (moving towards Allah). I find this especially so in the South Asian American community, where it is considered an anomaly if a man/woman doesn’t have a professional degree, isn’t tall, beautiful, etc.

    For myself, I live in America and I have a master’s degree. I have no problem marrying a man who isn’t a doctor or who may have just a bachelor’s. I also have no problem settling down with somebody who is struggling with finding his career as long as he has a plan and means to support us while we work together towards our mutual goals. My reasoning is: does it really matter so much if the guy has XYZ degree if he has bad character? He may be very good at his work, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to be a good husband. In fact, I would prefer not to marry a man who is in a demanding field, such as medicine, because it takes considerable time and emotional resources to do the job that little is left for the woman/family (in some cases). He could make a million bucks a year, but if he’s emotionally and physically absent or abusive, does that really matter?

    Certainly, I don’t want a bum who forgets it is his responsibility to make sure our practical needs our met, nor do I want to be in constant stress about where the next pay check is going to come from. But if I have the education and love for him to make his life easier, why shouldn’t I work myself to help us get to where we need to be? I would much rather be with a man who is of upstanding character and who is struggling to make something of himself in the dunya, than someone whose priorities are not straight and is attached to the world. Why shouldn’t I have faith that Allah will provide for us so long as we do what is right?

    I find it silly that certain desi parents place so much emphasis on what others will say, what his family’s education level is, etc. I think some Muslim women need to realize that we can’t place undue pressure on brothers and remember the longer you wait to get married, the greater the likelihood of shaitan trying to tempt you and lead you astray. I don’t think there’s any harm in mingling with brothers in college, outside, etc. in order to understand their character – getting to know them within limits helps you get a better picture of who they are. In fact, I think this whole connection thing through families or simply putting word out in the community and expecting things to work out seems so articifical and contrived.

  21. hopeful says:

    assalam alaykum,

    i know many sisters who married doctors and are miserable in their marriages or divorced because their husbands either cheated or ignored them.

    another issue is that the married sisters and brothers fail to help the single muslims get married too. we are one ummah so let’s help each other out through action, not just by dua’s alone.

    good article nonetheless.

    wasalaam

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