Arranged marriages – there are happy endings

As Muslims, it is our duty to ensure that we complete half our deen and to complete half our deen, we must get married. By getting married a person can overcome temptation and escape the traps of evil. With the help of Allah of course, we can build a stable foundation for us and our children.

A hadith, narrated by Anas ibn Malik, states that:

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of the ‘deen’; so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.”

Many of us think about marrying the man or woman of our dreams and pursuing a life full of happiness and adventure with that special person. Our biggest fantasy is falling in love and experiencing love as we see in films and dramas. How amazing would it be to marry your soul mate and best friend? Sadly, that is not always the case, particularly in Muslim communities.

There are a large number of married couples who do not share any emotion or common traits with their spouses because of the lack of communication and involvement before the marriage. This is a result of only being married to fulfill the wishes of their parents, but in reality the person actually getting married is not given a say. Although arranged marriages like these are becoming less and less common with the progress of time, nobody can deny that they still exist.

With my own experience, I would say that love comes after marriage, not before. Love needs to be built through trust and respect. Both parties must ensure that they understand the needs of one another and most importantly treat each other’s views and interests with respect. It is a huge commitment and no doubt it can be a very hard process. But it requires teamwork and team effort to maintain a happy relationship.

The negative views must be destroyed and you must be optimistic and hopeful at all times. Don’t think ‘I can never love this man/woman!’ or ‘how am I going to talk to her/him about having children?’ because eventually you will both get used to each others’ company if you let those fear-triggering thoughts be erased from your mind. He is your husband now and you are his wife, you are one. Always look on the bright side of things as you never know were the good can lie.

I never knew my husband when I got married to him; it was arranged by my uncle. It all started at my uncle’s wedding when he approached me and told me that his best friend of 6 years wanted my hand in marriage. At the age of 18, the first thing that popped into me head was NO. I was far from ready to get married! I was still a baby.

I had never seen this man or spoken to him before. Plus he was way older than I was and the thought of that made my skin crawl. Where did he see me? I asked my uncle. He said nothing.

“Think about it and let me know,” he told me. After a few weeks of negotiation with my mum, I decided to put my trust in Allah and proceed. I accepted the proposal. At this point, I had only met him on four occasions for a quick coffee.  I was at work one morning and my mum called and said: “your wedding will be next month.” It had to happen before my mother in law’s visa would expire. So, with full patience I went through with it and we got married.

It was awkward at first. It took me a few months to warm up to him. It was hard.

But three years on, and all I can say is al-hamdoulilah. It’s been the best thing I have ever done. Mashallah my life had changed completely. We started bonding and discovering new things about each other every day. This is because I choose to stay positive and make things work whatever the case may be.  It’s not a picture perfect life and we do have our occasional disputes but that’s life right.

Again my dear brothers and sisters don’t give up, keep working hard to make sure half your deen has truly been fulfilled.